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The causes of tooth decay are the same for all ages. Decay happens when the bacteria in plaque feeds on the sugar in our diet and this could lead to a potential cavity. A cavity is a very small hole that forms on the surface of a tooth.

Gum disease (periodontal disease) often progresses at a slow pace, with no pain. As a result, it is very common in many individuals. Gum disease is not just about your mouth – there is evidence linking gum disease to heart disease, respiratory disorders and strokes.

Along with preventive maintenance, make sure you look for warning signs and see your dentist immediately if you notice any of the following:

    • Bleeding gums while brushing, flossing or eating hard foods
    • Red, swollen or tender gums
    • Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth
    • Pus between your teeth and gums when the gums are pressed
    • Loose or separating teeth
    • Any change in the fit of your partial dentures
    • Any change in bite
    • Persistent bad taste or bad breath

Check your gums on a regular basis for these signs of gum disease:

    • a change in the colour of your gums
    • gums that are red around your teeth
    • gums that bleed every time you brush or floss
    • bad breath that will not go away
    • a taste of metal in your mouth
    • shiny, puffy or sore gums
    • teeth that are sensitive for no reason

How does diet affect my teeth?
Dietary habits have an impact on tooth erosion. Here are some helpful tips from Dr. O’Toole to help maintain the health of your teeth.

Article is republished with permission from the author