5 Things You Need To Know About Gum Disease

When we think about oral health, most people immediately go straight to their teeth, often forgetting about the stuff that keeps them intact in their mouth. In many ways, your gums are just as important as your teeth. 

Gums provide a protective cushion for your teeth, keeping them firmly in place and helping to keep bacteria away. Healthy gums also help to maintain your overall health and well-being. Poor oral health practices can harm your gums, which results in gum disease.

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues around the teeth. It is caused by accumulated plaque and tartar that contains bacteria that can cause inflammation of the gums. Unfortunately, it’s possible to have gum disease and not know it until more severe signs, such as bleeding and tooth loss, occur. Here are five things about gum disease you need to know.

1. Poor Oral Health Habits Cause Gum Disease 

Poor oral health habits can lead to gum disease, an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. Poor oral health habits, such as not brushing or flossing regularly, is the most common cause of gum disease. Plaque and tartar accumulation on the teeth can cause an inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis can lead to a more complicated form of gum disease called periodontitis. 

Other poor oral health habits that can lead to gum disease include smoking and chewing tobacco, and consuming high-sugar foods and drinks. These habits can all contribute to the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth, which causes gum inflammation and infection. 

2. Gum Disease Can Lead To Tooth Loss 

Untreated gum disease can eventually damage the gums and the bone that hold the teeth in place. This can eventually lead to tooth loss. The bacteria from the infection can cause the gums to recede, leaving the roots of the teeth exposed. This can make the teeth more prone to decay and infection. Eventually, the teeth may become so weak they can no longer be saved and need to be extracted.

3. Gum Disease Manifests Has Several Symptoms

Gum disease can affect the gums and teeth. Common symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums.
  • Gums that bleed easily.
  • Persistent bad breath.
  • Receding gums.

Other signs of gum disease include loose teeth, visible pus around the teeth and gums, and changes in how the teeth fit together when biting. If you suffer from any of these conditions, you must seek treatment from a dentist immediately.

4. Gum Disease Can Lead to Other Health Problems 

Gum disease is a severe condition that can lead to various other health problems, including an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Studies have shown that those with gum disease are at a greater risk of suffering from heart disease and stroke than those without gum disease. This is likely caused by inflammation, which can infect other areas of the body, such as the heart.

5. Gum Disease is Preventable

You can prevent gum disease with excellent and consistent oral hygiene habits. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once, and gargling with an antiseptic mouthwash can help reduce plaque buildup and prevent gum disease. 

Additionally, regular visits to the dentist for checkups and professional cleanings are essential to help detect and treat any issues before they worsen. Quitting smoking and avoiding sugary snacks and drinks will also help reduce your risk of gum disease.


Gum disease is a severe dental condition that can have serious consequences if left untreated. Fortunately, it is preventable with proper oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits. Taking the time to brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly can help keep your gums healthy and reduce your risk of gum disease.

Gum trouble? The Family Dental of Westborough provides excellent gum disease treatment for people who need it. Contact us today to set an appointment. 

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