Your gums play a major role in the health of your teeth–as well as that of your mouth. Gum disease or periodontal disease, including gingivitis, is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth.  It’s typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque to build up on the teeth and harden. In advanced stages, periodontal disease can lead to sore, bleeding gums; painful chewing problems; and even tooth loss.

Symptoms

  • Bad breath that won’t go away.
  • Red or swollen gums.
  • Tender or bleeding gums.
  • Painful chewing.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Sensitive teeth.
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth.

Examination

  • We take a close look at your gums and note any signs of inflammation.
  • We check for, and measure, any deep pockets around the teeth. (A healthy mouth has pockets usually between 1 and 3 millimeters).
  • We discuss your medical history to identify conditions or risk factors (such as smoking or diabetes) that may contribute to gum disease.
  • We may even find it necessary to take x-rays to check for bone loss.
Treatment

The main goal of treatment is to control the infection. The number and types of treatment will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease. Any type of treatment requires that the patient keep up good daily care at home. The dentist may also suggest changing certain behaviors, such as quitting smoking, as a way to improve your treatment results.

Helpful Tips
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Flossing regularly to remove plaque from between teeth.
  • Visiting the dentist routinely for a check-up and professional cleaning.
  • Quit smoking.