What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is swelling or soreness of the gums (the soft tissue) around your teeth. It is caused by the bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth. The plaque bacteria have toxins that inflame the gums.
If you do not remove plaque by brushing and flossing your teeth, it can build up and infect your gums, teeth and the bone that supports them. If not treated by a dentist, you can lose your teeth.
The signs of gum disease are not always easy to see and can be painless. The earlier gum disease is caught, the easier it is to treat. That’s why it’s important to see your dentist regularly.
There are Three Stages of Gum Disease:
Gingivities: This is the first stage of gum disease. Your gums may feel tender and you may see some bleeding when you brush or floss. The American Academy of Periodontology considers gingivitis a mild periodontal disease. Gingivitis can be reversed by having a dentist or hygienist clean your teeth and with the proper brushing and flossing at home.
Periodontitis: At this stage, plaque spreads to your tooth roots causing an infection, which can damage the bone and fibers that hold teeth in place. Your gums may begin to pull away from your teeth. Proper dental care and better home care can help stop more damage.
Advanced Periodontitis: In this final stage of gum disease, the fibers and bone holding your teeth in place are destroyed. This can cause your teeth to shift or loosen and can affect your bite. If treatment can’t save teeth, they may need to be removed.
How Do I Know if I Have Gum Disease?
To find out if you have gum disease, your dentist or hygienist needs to check your teeth and gums. Since early gum disease can be reversed, it’s important to see your dentist or hygienist if you see any of the following:.
- Gums that bleed or are red, puffy or swollen, or sore
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Pus that appears between your teeth and gums
- Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- If your condition is very seriousl, surgery may be needed. Your dentist will tell you whether or not you need surgery. If you agree, the surgery can be done here at our clinic.
- Get regular checkups. They're the best way to discover and treat early gum disease before it leads to a more serious problem.
Did you know?
People with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease and lose teeth. Like all infections, gum disease may cause blood sugar to rise and make diabetes harder to control.
It all begins with good brushing and flossing.
Follow these instruction on brushing and flossing to keep your smile healthy and help prevent little problems from becoming big ones.
How To Brush
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, clean the outer surfaces of each tooth. Angle the brush along the outer gum line. Gently brush back and forth.
Brush the inside surface of each tooth, where plaque may accumulate most. Brush gently back and forth. Use the tip of the brush to clean behind each front tooth, both top and bottom. Then, brush the chewing surface of each tooth, gently brushing back and forth.
How To Floss
- Use about 18” of floss, leaving an inch r two to work with.
- Gently follow the curves of your teeth.
- Be sure to clean beneath the gum line, but avoid snapping the floss on the gums.