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Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues around the teeth. Our doctors advocate for frequent brushing and flossing to avoid gum disease.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is an infection of the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth, typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits or not being able to visit the dentist. If not treated, the infection can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth, ultimately resulting in tooth loss. However, with periodontal treatments, and if caught early enough, gum disease can be reversed.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Because gum disease is usually painless, many patients aren’t aware they have it. This is why it’s important to be aware of the symptoms so you can recognize the disease before it progresses.

Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Swollen, tender, or bleeding gums

  • Gums that recede from your tooth

  • Chronic bad breath or a persistent bad taste in your mouth

  • Visible pus surrounding your teeth and gums

  • Loose teeth

What causes gum disease?

Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the surface of your teeth, essentially leads to gum disease. As the plaque hardens over time, it becomes tartar, a yellow or brown substance that can form anywhere on your teeth. This type of bacteria creates toxins, which ultimately damage your gum tissues.

There are three stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis

  • Periodontitis

  • Advanced periodontitis

In the early stage of gum disease, your gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily. At this stage, you can reverse the damage by brushing and flossing daily.

In the more advanced stages of gum disease, your gums and bones supporting your teeth become severely damaged. As a result, your teeth become loose and can fall out. You should make sure you get ahead of gum disease, with regular brushing and preventative dentistry or periodontal cleanings if you are already in the early stages. Contact the Reliant Dental Group in West Roxbury today to get ahead of gum disease.