What Is Gum Disease?

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What happens when you don’t brush and floss every day? Besides having bad breath, neglecting your daily brushing and flossing will allow oral bacteria to build up and inflame your gum tissue. When this happens you will be feeling the effects of early gum disease, or gingivitis. If oral bacteria is not regularly removed, it develops into a sticky film called plaque, creating toxins that irritate healthy gum tissue and causing your gums to swell and bleed when you brush and floss. You can also feel the sticky film it creates on your teeth. Gingivitis can easily be treated by stepping up your brushing and flossing routine, and using an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce bacteria. Not only can mouthwash kill bacteria which cause plaque, but it also helps remove food particles loosened by brushing and flossing.

If gingivitis is left untreated, it will develop into periodontitis. With periodontitis, you may notice pockets developing in the gum tissue below the gumline, where food particles and plaque accumulate. At this stage the bones and fibers holding your teeth in place become damaged. The gum tissue in these pockets become infected and continue to be broken down and destroyed. Left unchecked, with the fibers and bone diminishing, the teeth in these pockets become loose and will eventually fall out.

In your efforts to prevent gum disease, you will need to brush and floss every day as you tend to your oral hygiene. Seeing our dentist for professional dental cleanings will remove hardened plaque (tartar) above and below the gumline. With regular six month dental checkups and cleanings, gum disease can be detected early and treated.

If you would like to schedule a visit with Dr. Holly Krystek to restore your healthy smile, please call our Lifetime Dentistry team in Muscatine, Iowa at 563-263-9082 today!