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Gum Disease

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. The three stages of gum disease — from least to most severe — are gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis


Gum disease is when the tissues surrounding your teeth become infected. What's more, if untreated, gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss. Most of the time, gum disease is painless - meaning, you might not know you have it until it progresses to a point of urgency.

Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by the build up and lack of treatment against dental plaque. Dental plaque is a sticky film with "trapped bacteria" that is allowed to feast upon uncleaned teeth. Specifically, the bacteria feed on food particles.

The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gum tissue that is pulled away from the teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Loosened teeth

Treatment of Gum Disease:

  • Proper Oral Hygiene
  • Brushing, Flossing, and Mouthwash twice per day
  • Professional dental cleaning by your dentist

Related Health Issues Linked to Gum Disease

  • Gum disease may increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease. It also is believed to worsen existing heart disease.
  • Stroke — Gum disease may increase the risk of the type of stroke that is caused by blocked arteries.
  • Premature births — A woman who has gum disease during pregnancy may be more likely to deliver her baby too early. The infant may be more likely to be of low birth weight.
  • Diabetes — Diabetic patients with periodontal disease may have more trouble controlling their blood sugar than diabetic patients with healthy gums.
  • Respiratory disease — Bacteria involved in gum disease may cause lung infections or worsen existing lung conditions. This is particularly important for elderly adults in institutions such as nursing homes.

Help Resources Related to Gum Disease

Mouth Healthy - American Dental Association