What Is Gum Disease—And How Can You Prevent It?

When you brush and floss regularly, you’re not only taking better care of your teeth—you’re also working to prevent gum disease.

Gum disease, also called gingivitis and periodontitis, is an infection in the tissue and bone areas that support your teeth. It’s caused by a buildup of bacteria. Gum disease can have negative effects on your oral health. Without the right treatment, it can cause your mouth to look different, make you more susceptible to other infections in your body, and can even lead to tooth loss.

The most obvious sign of gum disease is bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. However, there are other signs of gum disease, including:

  • bright red and swollen, sensitive gums
  • bad breath that won’t go away
  • mouth sores
  • gums that pull away from the teeth
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when biting

Certain kinds of chronic diseases can make you more prone to gum disease. For instance, if you have diabetes, you’re more likely to develop gum disease—and it may be harder to treat gum disease once you have it. Other factors that make gum disease more likely include smoking hormonal changes, genetics, and the use of certain medications.

If you think you have gum disease, the first step to take is to up your oral care routine. Brush your teeth at least twice daily with an electric toothbrush and floss at least once a day. A couple weeks of better oral care at home can improve your gum health. However, if you’re still having problems, set an appointment with Dr. Jose Goldberg, DDS to help.

Dr. Goldberg and his staff will consider several options to improve your gum health. They will take X-rays to check for infection and bone loss. They also will perform a thorough cleaning to help attack the bacteria that’s causing your gum disease.

Other options that will help your gum disease include:

  • the use of antibiotics placed under the gums
  • laser treatment
  • scaling, a technique that removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line
  • root plaining, which helps the gums reattach to the tooth
  • gum surgery for advanced cases

Dr. Goldberg will discuss the best home routine for better oral health, to help you treat or prevent further gum disease.

Once you’ve had your gum disease treated, continue a thorough home cleaning routine with brushing and flossing. Avoid smoking, and see your dentist at least twice a year (sometimes more frequently) to monitor for any problems.

To schedule an appointment with Bradenton dentist Dr. Goldberg, call 941.792.0435.