Gum Disease 101

You’ve probably heard the term “gingivitis” in commercials for toothpaste or mouthwash. Gingivitis is actually the first and most treatable stage of gum disease. “Gum disease” sounds scary, but what is it exactly? If your gums are very red, swollen, or tender, or if they bleed easily or are receding from your teeth, you may have gum disease.

Healthy smiles are happy smiles!

Causes: Gum disease is caused by the bacteria that live in plaque, the film that forms on your teeth. If it’s not removed with good brushing and flossing, plaque quickly hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist. The more plaque and tartar on your teeth, the better the environment for bacteria to grow!

Treatment: There are three stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. With correct brushing and flossing and regular cleanings from your dentist, gingivitis is reversible! Once the supporting bones have become affected, however, gingivitis becomes periodontitis, which is irreversible and will need to be treated with in-office therapies. Very advanced cases may even require teeth be removed.

Prevention: Proper dental care will help to remove plaque before bacteria can get a chance to settle in. Brush and floss consistently and correctly, and see your dentist every six months for cleanings. If you have family history of gum disease or other risk factors, such as tobacco use, it’s not a bad idea to visit the dentist more regularly.

If your teeth or gums are causing you pain or embarrassment, Jordan Dentistry in Cumming, GA is here to help! Contact us for an appointment!  

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