The Importance of Gum Disease Prevention

The Importance of Gum Disease Prevention

Sep 30, 2013

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, occurs when bacteria causes inflammation of the gums that hold adult teeth in place. As a result, people with periodontal disease can lose their permanent teeth. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque build-up. Plaque is the sticky film on your teeth that can only be removed by brushing your teeth.

How Gum Disease Begins

When you don’t clean plaque from your teeth it can cause your gums to form pockets where bacteria becomes trapped. Plaque also hardens into calculus on and under your gums. When that happens it is nearly impossible to remove on your own. You will need a dental cleaning to take away all of the calculus. Without a professional cleaning, you can develop periodontal disease, which when untreated can cause tooth loss.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

There are a number of possible symptoms of gum disease. These symptoms can include:

  • red swollen gums
  • blood on your toothbrush
  • bad breath
  • pus
  • loose teeth
  • changes in your dental bite

Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease progresses in a series of stages. In the early stages,which is called gingivitis, you may notice bleeding and swollen gums. At this point it’s possible to reverse gum disease with proper daily care at home and a professional cleaning at the dentist. A special tool used to remove hardened calculus and plaque beneath the gums. More advanced stages can require a deeper cleaning or referral to a periodontist who specializes in gum disease.


The best way to prevent gum disease is by brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Also see your dentist for regular cleanings and exams. Ask your dentist or hygienist to review the proper steps in brushing and flossing to make sure you are doing them correctly. If you are a smoker it’s important to quit right away because it is a significant risk factor of gum disease.

It is possible to prevent gum disease by taking good care of your teeth. It is easier to treat gum disease when it is identified early. Your dentist will check for signs of gum disease when you come in for your exams.

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