Patient with hygienist discussing gum disease

Protecting Your Smile From Gum Disease

Would it surprise you to learn that almost half of all Americans currently have gum disease? Known medically as periodontal disease, gum disease is a chronic condition that can eventually result in bone and tooth loss, as well as other types of serious health problems. Since gum disease treatment can be an expensive proposition, you will want to do everything that you can to prevent it.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is an inflammatory condition of the gums due to a bacterial infection, which leads to red, swollen, tender gums that bleed easily. The end stage of the disease is an irreversible condition called periodontitis that can lead to tooth loss.

What are the causes?

The disease begins as plaque – a sticky film that attaches itself to your teeth. Plaque contains bacteria that feed on sugary substances that you eat and drink. Also, it produces acidic substances that can eat away at your tooth enamel, causing tooth decay and gum disease. Furthermore, plaque eventually hardens into something called tartar.

What makes one person susceptible?

It normally comes down to poor oral hygiene habits, as well as smoking. Certain medical conditions like diabetes can also increase your odds of developing gum disease. Additional factors contributing to the disease include hormonal changes, genetic predisposition, and the use of certain medications.


  • Swollen and tender gums
  • Gums that are red and bleed during regular brushing and flossing
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Receding gums

How can I prevent it?

There are numerous ways that you can help to prevent gum disease. The most important one is maintaining your proper oral hygiene habits at home, including brushing and flossing daily.

Brush Twice Daily

As obvious as it may seem, brushing twice a day is vital to protect your teeth, smile and gums. If you brush for a minimum of two minutes twice daily, you will be removing food particles that fuel the growth of bacteria that cause gum disease. Although brushing alone is not enough, it is definitely a good start.

Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal and snack. At a minimum, brush following breakfast and dinner. This means that your oral bacterial load will be extremely minimal while you are sleeping so that bacteria are not multiplying exponentially overnight. It is also a good idea to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Floss Daily

You should also floss in between your teeth to remove any food particles and debris that may be stuck there. These are areas that your toothbrush cannot reach.

Don’t Neglect Your Routine Dental Appointments

The final piece of the puzzle to protect your smile from gum disease is to stay current with your regular dental exams and cleanings. This allows your dentist to remove plaque and tartar that could otherwise cause gum disease and lead to expensive treatment.

If you have fallen behind, contact any of our offices below for an exam and consultation.


Friendly Dental of Worcester

Unique Dental of Framingham

Middleboro Family Dental

Unique Dental of Pembroke

Uxbridge Family Dental

Unique Dental Of Winchendon

Cinema Smiles Dental

Unique Dental of Worcester

Wareham Family Dental


Unique Dental of Putnam

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