What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay occurs when plaque in your mouth reacts with sugary and starchy deposits from food. This reaction produces acid which damages the enamel over time and weakens the tooth.
What can cause tooth decay(cavities)?
Many habits can contribute to tooth decay. A lack of proper oral hygiene, including infrequent brushing and flossing can play a major role in the development of cavities. Frequent consumption of carbohydrates and sugar will weaken the teeth. Tooth position, crowding, dry mouth, periodontal disease, and cancer treatment may also cause the formation of cavities.
What is gingivitis (gum disease)?
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by untreated gum disease. When plaque and buildup accumulate under the gumline, bacteria attaches to the deposits and irritates the gums. The toxins stimulate an inflammatory response which breaks down and destroys the bone that supports the tooth. Your gums separate from the tooth, forming pockets which become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone is destroyed. This process can have very mild symptoms, but unfortunately the bone cannot regrow.
What is recession?
Gum recession is the exposure of the roots of the teeth caused by a loss of gum tissue around the crown of the tooth. Many things can cause recession such as abnormal tooth position, aggressive or inadequate brushing, periodontal disease, orthodontic treatment, and tobacco use. Recession may be asymptomatic, or may cause sensitivity.