What Is This Stuff Called Gum Disease?

Submitted by: Gabriel Adams

Gum disease is a serious mouth infection that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. The gums, bones, and surrounding tissues of the tooth can become inflamed and develop the disease slowly, which makes it difficult to self-diagnose only by going to the dentist on a regular basis can you ensure the prevention of gum disease.

Gum disease usually finds its beginnings when the bacteria inside of the plaque that forms on your teeth causes an inflammation of the gums. At the very least, the gums will become red and swollen, and will bleed very easily often with as little abrasion as brushing your teeth. This kind of gum disease is known as gingivitis, and is often caused by a lack of oral care. Regular brushing and flossing correctly will usually stave off the development of gingivitis, however if the disease develops and is left untreated, it can lead to the more severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis.


Periodontitis is the development and spread of plaque below your gum line, causing the plaque to release a toxin that will irritate one s gums and slowly begin to stimulate a response: chronic inflammation of the mouth. When this happens, the gums begin to separate from the teeth, as the bone and surrounding tissues that are supposed to support the teeth begin to break down. The pockets between gums and teeth are then highly susceptible to infection, resulting in the eventual loss of the effected teeth.

The best way to avoid developing gum disease is to practice preventative oral care. Regular dental visits and cleanings will help to diagnose any early signs of gum disease, and eating a healthier diet will actually improve dental health. Products such as alcohol and tobacco will increase the risk of gum disease reduce alcohol consumption to avoid developing excess plaque, and quit smoking. If caught at an early stage, gum disease can be easily treated and reversed. However, this requires personal cooperation and an awareness of the need for proper oral hygiene.

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