According to recent data, approximately 70% of adults over the age of 65 have periodontitis—an advanced form of gum disease. Though it occurs more often in older adults, age isn’t the only factor. Inadequate hygiene and a lack of professional dental care are the main causes behind gum disease development. However, the reason why it’s the leading cause of adult tooth loss is because patients often don’t recognize the signs of gum disease, and therefore neglect to seek treatment in time.

What Gives It Away

The sticky plaque that you brush off of your teeth is comprised of hundreds of kinds of bacteria. When you miss a spot of plaque along your gum line, the germs can irritate your gum tissue, causing it to swell and separate from your teeth. This infection is the first stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, and can be spotted by its effects on your gums, such as;

  • Bleeding
  • Redness
  • Inflammation
  • Periodontal pockets (areas of gum recession, or separation from your teeth)
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A lingering bad taste in your mouth
  • Darkening gum tissue
  • Tender gums
  • Loose teeth

What to Do Next

Aside from a little tenderness when you apply pressure to your gums, gingivitis doesn’t usually cause a lot of discomfort. In the absence of pain, you might be inclined to overlook the bit of pink mixed in with your saliva when you brush and floss your teeth. If your gums bleed or appear swollen, or if you exhibit any other potential symptoms of gum disease, then schedule an appointment with Dr. Villani as soon as possible for a thorough evaluation. If gum disease is present, treatment will depend on its severity, and can range from a deep cleaning to more extensive periodontal treatment at the hands of a specialist.


Brighton Family Dental Group is located in Brighton MA. Featuring experienced dentists and an excellent range of in-office treatments, Brighton Family Dental Group is a great destination for any member of your family who is in need of dental care. Patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation with Dr. Thomas Villani by calling (617) 562-5210.