National Institutes of Health – Senior Health
In its early stages, gum disease may be relatively painless, but as gum disease progresses it may cause sore gums and pain when chewing.
There are two types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis causes redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. This type of gum disease does not break down the bone or tissues that hold the teeth in place, but without acknowledgement and care, gingivitis may advance to become periodontitis. Gingivitis is often reversible with consistent brushing and flossing, whereas periodontitis may begin to damage the bone that supports the teeth and may eventually lead to tooth loss.
Gum disease is not a normal part of aging and is preventable. Making time for an oral hygiene routine and regularly visiting your dentist are very important, especially if you already have been treated for gum disease. Doing these things also may help eliminate the chance it will come back.
The best ways to reduce your risk of developing gum disease are to brush regularly, floss, and see your dentist consistently for professional cleanings. Not having gum disease will give you something to smile about.