Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. Gum disease affects people of all ages, although it is most commonly found in adults. The most common early signs of gum disease is bleeding while brushing. Other common signs in include redness, swelling, and bad breath Pain may also be experienced in advance stages of gum disease. Gingivitis is very common in both adults and children. Fortunately, it is easily reversed or prevented with proper dental care and oral hygiene practices daily. There is no permanent damage done.
However, if left untreated,gingivitis can progress into Periodontitis. The surface inflammation of gingivitis would track down to the supporting alveolar bone. This results in the destruction of bone leading to the eventual loosening of teeth. Periodontitis related tooth loss is not age specific. Although rare in children, it can happen in younger adults as well as older people. This destruction of gums and bone can be arrested with timely professional treatment program and improved home care, but the damage is irreversible.
Studies have shown that smoking adversely affect your gum health and impedes healing. Signs of periodontits can be obscured in a smoker making early self-detection difficult. In general, smokers also respond less favourably to any gum treatment program for periodontitis. Recent research has also shown significant correlation between periodontitis (gum disease) and cardiovascular diseases (heart disease), diabetes and low birth weight pregnancies.
Gum and bone are the foundation of all teeth, it is therefore very important that we do not neglect their health. Consult you dentist as early as possible if you notice gum bleeding while brushing.