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What is gum disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease occurs when plaque and bacteria build up and cause your gum tissue to separate from your teeth. When bacteria are allowed in, they will begin to destroy your gum tissue and bone, eventually leading to tooth loss. Tobacco use, poor oral hygiene, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics can also contribute to gum disease.

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. If it's detected early on, it can be treated with a thorough professional cleaning and improvements to your home care routine. For some patients, it may even be reversed in this stage.

Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease that will lead to tooth and bone loss if it's not treated effectively. There is no cure for gum disease; however, with the help of your hygiene team, additional cleanings throughout the year, and careful monitoring of your condition, you can keep your gum disease under control.

Brushing and flossing your teeth daily and visiting us every six months are your first lines of defense against preventing periodontal disease from happening in the first place. Common signs and early indicators are:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Bleeding when you brush your teeth
  • Receding gum line