What is gum disease?

Gum disease (referred to as periodontal disease or gingivitis) is the number one cause of tooth loss today. It’s an infection that causes tooth loss because it affects the gums and bones that hold your teeth in place.

Anyone can get gum disease, which is caused by plaque that’s allowed to sit on the teeth. The plaque needs to be removed every day with brushing and flossing or it will form a harder substance called tartar. In fact, tartar is so hard that it can only be removed by a dental hygienist during a professional dental cleaning.

One of the first symptoms noticed by most people with gum disease is bleeding gums. You may also see other signs that gum disease is present, like red, tender, or puffy gums.

Unfortunately, you may have serious gum disease and not notice any symptoms at all. This is why we strongly recommend routine exams and cleanings. They are the best way to catch gum disease in its early stages before too much damage has been done.

Gum disease doesn’t go away by itself, and you can’t prevent it just by brushing and flossing more, although that’s always a good idea! The only way to prevent gum disease or treat it when it occurs is with routine professional dental cleanings.

Once you’ve had gum disease, you are always at risk for getting it again. Please call George Family Dentistry for an appointment, and we’ll be happy to perform a thorough exam and cleaning to prevent and treat gum disease.

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