Gum disease

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues that support and surround the teeth. It begins with bacterial growth in the mouth and can lead to tooth loss if not properly treated. The main stages of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the initial, mild form of gum disease and is characterized by red, swollen gums that may bleed easily. If left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form, where the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected.

How Do You Treat Gum Disease?

Treating gum disease typically involves both professional dental care and good oral hygiene practices at home. Mild cases of gingivitis can often be reversed with thorough brushing and flossing and regular professional cleanings. Periodontitis requires deeper cleaning procedures such as scaling and root planing, which remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line and smooth the roots of the teeth to help the gums reattach. In severe cases, surgical interventions, such as flap surgery or bone and tissue grafts, may be necessary. Additionally, maintaining a balanced diet and avoiding tobacco use can play a significant role in managing and preventing gum disease.

Gum Disease and Whole Body Health

Gum disease is not just a localized issue; it can have implications for overall health. Research has shown a connection between periodontal disease and several systemic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections. Inflammation and bacteria from the gums can enter the bloodstream, potentially leading to or exacerbating these medical conditions. Therefore, maintaining good oral health is crucial not only for keeping your teeth and gums healthy but also for protecting your overall well-being. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings, coupled with diligent oral care at home, are essential steps in safeguarding both your oral and general health. Additionally, if you have a preexisting medical condition that puts you at higher risk for gum disease, such as diabetes or heart disease, it is crucial to work closely with your dentist to manage and prevent gum disease effectively.


Gum disease is a prevalent but highly preventable oral health issue. By understanding the signs and symptoms of gum disease and taking proactive steps to maintain good oral hygiene, you can protect yourself from more severe forms of gum disease and the potential implications for your overall health. Remember to schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings, maintain a balanced diet, and avoid tobacco use to keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come.  So take care of your teeth today for a healthier tomorrow!  Happy brushing!

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