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Gum disease, sometimes called gingivitis and periodontal disease, is a dangerous illness that is becoming more prevalent across the world. Though there is much information about gum disease, there are still common questions asked by patients. Let’s take a closer look at some common questions about gum disease in San Jose.

Is there a difference between plaque and calculus?

Yes, there is. Plaque is constantly forming on the teeth, and it can only be removed by brushing and flossing every day. If plaque is allowed to continue building upon the teeth, then it will irritate the gum tissue and harden into calculus. Calculus can only be removed by a professional cleaning. If it is not removed, then it can further irritate the gums and tooth enamel, eventually causing gum disease.

Who is at risk for developing gum disease?

Adults with poor oral hygiene and those with compromised immune systems are at risk for gum disease. Though it is rare for children and teenagers to have gum disease, it can occur. If children have poor oral hygiene—meaning they do not brush twice a day or floss once a day—then they could develop gingivitis and end up with multiple cavities.

What are the common signs of gum disease?

There are several signs of gum disease, such as red, bleeding, and receding gums. As gum disease progresses from gingivitis to periodontal disease, the signs become worse. There may be pockets of pus and infection between the gums and teeth, constant bad breath, and loose teeth. If symptoms progress to these signs, then gum disease can no longer be reversed.

Can gum disease lead to other complications?

Gum disease has been linked with cardiovascular disease. Both are inflammatory diseases, and dentists suggest that gum disease can weaken the overall immune system and cause inflammation throughout the body. As the immune system becomes weakened, other infections and illnesses may become more prevalent. Though more research is needed to confirm these theories, gum disease should be avoided at all costs.