Toothbrush with blood on the bristles over a sink with blood from gum disease, dentist in Hot Springs Village

What Is Gum Disease?

July 31, 2022 12:11 am

According to researchers, gum disease is a major public health problem in the United States. As many as 2 in 5 adults have some form of gum disease, which increases their risk for tooth loss, bone loss, and other serious conditions like stroke and heart disease.

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a gum infection that gets more severe over time without treatment. In the early stages, gum disease causes swollen gums that may bleed easily. Other signs of early gum disease include redness or tenderness in the gums. At this stage, gum disease can usually be treated and reversed.

Gums begin to pull away from the teeth in the advanced stage of gum disease. This leads to pockets between teeth and gums that are susceptible to further infection. Over time, this weakens the bone that supports the teeth and can lead to tooth loss.

Are There Additional Risk Factors for Gum Disease?

Some people may have a higher risk of gum disease. For example, tobacco use not only increases dental plaque, it can also make it harder for infected gums to heal. Those with conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or immune system disorders may also be more susceptible to gum disease. If you have one of these risk factors, let us know. Dr. Lefler and our team will work with you to keep your gums healthy and strong.

Is Gum Disease Preventable?

Here’s the good news: gum disease is preventable. All that it takes to drastically reduce your risk for gum disease is to follow a good at-home oral hygiene routine. First, you should brush your teeth twice each day for two minutes each time. Make sure you’re using a soft-bristled brush and gentle strokes that clean your teeth without irritating your gums or damaging your tooth enamel. Daily flossing is another important way to prevent gum disease by removing trapped food particles before they attract oral bacteria.

To ask our team any questions about gum disease prevention, please contact us today!

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