Skip to main content

Gum Disease 101: What You Need to Know

Are your gums red, swollen, and tender? Do they bleed easily when you brush your teeth? If you answered yes to these questions, you might have gum disease. Although, it’s also possible to have gum disease and not even know it.

Dr. Seaghi wants to help you have a beautiful, healthy smile, so here are a few things you need to know about the prevention and treatment of gum disease.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is a collective term that is actually two different mouth conditions. The mild form of gum disease is commonly known as gingivitis, and the more severe form is called periodontitis.

Both diseases start with one problem -- bacteria.

No matter how often you brush your teeth, your mouth is full of tiny bacteria. The bacteria mixes with mucus and other particles in your mouth to make plaque, a sticky film that coats your teeth. If you brush and floss, you can remove the plaque. If you don’t, the plaque hardens into a yellow, hard substance known as tartar.

The more plaque and tartar you have on your teeth, the more likely it is that you’ll develop gingivitis or periodontitis.

With gingivitis, your gums are red and swollen and bleed easily. It can usually be reversed with good hygiene, like brushing and flossing daily and regular cleanings at Dr. Saeghi’s office. But if gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis.

If you have periodontitis, you may notice your gums pulling away from your teeth. When this happens, small pockets form between your gums and teeth. These pockets leave space for food and plaque to collect and create a good place for infection. If periodontitis isn’t treated, your bones, gums, and other tissues that support your teeth can be destroyed, causing major oral health issues.

Symptoms of gum disease

Many of the symptoms of gum disease take time to show and start to bother you. This means that you could have poor oral health and not even know about it.

Here are a few of the symptoms you may notice if you have any form of gum disease:

How to prevent gum disease

The best news about gum disease is that it’s completely preventable. Here are a few things you can do to keep your gums healthy.

Get regular checkups

Getting regular checkups by Dr. Saeghi is important, no matter how old you are. But as you age, gum disease becomes more common, so checkups are essential to mouth health.

Schedule appointments with our highly skilled team at Modern Age Dentistry on a regular basis, usually every six months. Our team cleans your teeth, removes any plaque or tartar, and checks for signs of gum disease. If we find anything concerning, we teach you how to best care for your teeth and gums and schedule your next cleaning.

Don’t smoke

Smokers are twice as likely to develop gum disease compared to nonsmokers. Smoking weakens your immune system, making it hard to fight off an infection in your gums. Once you have gum disease, smoking decreases your body’s ability to heal your sore, swollen gums.

If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit. The damage in your gums can be treated and healed.

Keep up with daily oral care

If you want to prevent gum disease or slow its progression, you need healthy mouth care habits. Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice every day -- morning and night -- and floss at least once.

Another part of daily mouth care is your diet. Eat healthy foods that are low in sugar and processed carbs.

Treatment for gum disease

If prevention isn’t an option, your gum disease can be treated. Dr. Saeghi develops a treatment plan that fits your level of disease. This plan may include:

If you think you have gum disease, don’t delay in getting treated. Make an appointment at one of our three convenient locations by booking online or calling today.  

You Might Also Enjoy...

Help! I Think I’m Having a Dental Emergency

Mouth injuries are scary and can cause severe pain, bleeding, and even tooth loss. Infections and other situations can cause urgent issues, too. Read on to learn what constitutes a true dental emergency and if you need to seek immediate treatment.
Is InvisalignⓇ Right for Your Teen?

Is InvisalignⓇ Right for Your Teen?

Does your teen need their smile corrected and perfected, but you both dread the thought of their being a “metal mouth” with braces for who knows how long? Learn about an innovative orthodontic treatment that has it all over traditional braces, here.

How to Prevent Health Problems From Crooked Teeth

You might think crooked teeth create a problem related only to your self-confidence, but they can lead to a host of health problems as well. Learn about the risks of crooked teeth and how you can avoid problems with the right treatment, here.
How to Keep Your Gum Disease From Worsening

How to Keep Your Gum Disease From Worsening

Gingivitis, or early stage gum disease, has subtle symptoms, but it’s important to be tuned into them before your gum disease becomes serious. The good news? You can reverse gingivitis. Learn how and why you want to, here.

5 Little-Known Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants offer a multitude of benefits as a solution for missing teeth, but most people may only be aware that they’re a viable treatment option. Read on to learn about powerful implant advantages that are less frequently discussed.