What is periodontal (gum) disease?

Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by plaque, which is made up of bacteria, mucus, and food particles. Plaque causes irritation and inflammation, which may be detrimental to your gums, teeth, bone, and overall health. More research is showing the strong connection between gum disease and other health problems throughout the body, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature births or low-birth weight babies.

What are some of the causes of gum disease?

Gum disease can be caused by a number of factors. Usually, the cause of gum disease is mainly tartar and plaque. We all deal with plaque accumulation on a daily basis. When plaque is on and in between your teeth and gums for a long time, it may solidify and become tartar. Both plaque and tartar will irritate your gums, cause them to be inflamed, and bleed.

Some of the most common signs and symptoms are:

  • Red, swollen, and puffy gums
  • Bleeding when brushing, flossing, or eating
  • Smaller appearance than normal teeth due to puffy gums
  • Longer appearance than normal teeth due to gum recession
  • Loose or mobile teeth

How can I prevent gum disease?

Gum disease can cause discomfort, loss of teeth and bone, and/or additional health problems. Prevention is easy with excellent home care. Removing plaque on and in between your teeth is key in preventing gum disease. We recommend brushing at least twice daily and flossing at least once daily to remove plaque and tartar buildup.

Another key component to preventing gum disease is having your teeth cleaned at least twice a year. It may be difficult to remove some stubborn tartar on your own. We are able to remove this tartar, which greatly reduces your chances of gum disease.

What are some treatment options for gum disease?

It depends on how far the condition has progressed. Treatment options can vary from deep cleanings, antibiotic therapy, gum grafts, or gum surgery. No matter what the condition, it’s never too late and we will diagnose and recommend the best treatment for you.

I’m concerned about my gums and health, what should I do?

We recommend a full exam with Dr. Shack and our staff. Here, you can tell us about your concerns. Dr. Shack and our staff are highly trained to diagnose and treat gum disease.