Why Are Your Gums Important?

Gums protect our teeth by covering the sensitive roots of our teeth. Proper oral hygiene which includes brushing and flossing helps to keep your teeth and gums healthy.  If your gums are not cared for properly with regular brushing and flossing, they no longer help to protect your teeth and can actually put your teeth and health at risk of more serious problems.

What Is Gum Disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease, which is also known as periodontitis, is a progressive disease which if left untreated may result in tooth loss.  Gum disease begins with the inflammation and irritation of the gingival tissues which surround and support the teeth.  The cause of this inflammation is the toxins found in plaque which cause an ongoing bacterial infection.

What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

It is important to know the signs of gum disease and see your Dentist or Periodontist right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Swollen and red gums
  • Frequent bleeding of your gums when you brush or floss
  • Receding gum line on all or some of your teeth
  • Tenderness in your gums
  • Pus from your gums
  • Loose teeth from a receding gum line

What are Common Causes of Gum Disease?

There are genetic and environmental factors involved in the onset of gum disease, and in many cases the risk of developing periodontitis can be significantly lowered by taking preventative measures.

Here are some of the most common causes of gum disease:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Tobacco Use
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Pregnancy and menopause
  • Chronic stress and poor diet
  • Diabetes and Underlying Medical Issues
  • Grinding Teeth
  • Medication

By practicing good oral hygiene and reducing other risk factors as much as possible, you can largely avoid periodontal disease.  Remember that daily flossing and proper brushing go a long way in keeping your gums free from infection!