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Gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss if it is not treated. Gum disease is caused by plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that contains bacteria. Tartar is hardened plaque that can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist. If plaque and tartar are not removed regularly, they can irritate the gums and cause inflammation. This inflammation can lead to gum recession, which is when the gums pull away from the teeth. Gum recession can expose the roots of the teeth, which can make them more susceptible to decay and infection.

There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.

  • Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. It is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when brushed or flossed. Gingivitis can usually be cured with regular brushing and flossing, and professional cleanings.
  • Periodontitis: Periodontitis is a more advanced form of gum disease. It occurs when the inflammation caused by plaque and tartar buildup damages the gums and the bone that supports the teeth. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss if it is not treated.

If you have gum disease, your dentist may recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  • Scaling and root planing: Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure that removes plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. This procedure can help to reduce inflammation and improve gum health.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be prescribed to help fight the infection that is causing gum disease.
  • Gum surgery: Gum surgery may be necessary to treat advanced gum disease or to correct gum recession. There are a variety of different gum surgery procedures available, and your dentist will recommend the best procedure for your individual needs.

If you have gum disease, it is important to see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. Early detection and treatment of gum disease is essential to preventing tooth loss.

When you need gum treatment

If you have any of the following symptoms, you should see your dentist to see if you need gum treatment:

  • Red, swollen gums that bleed easily
  • Gum recession
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away with brushing and flossing
  • Pain in the gums or teeth

If you have gum disease, your dentist will recommend the best treatment for your individual needs. Gum treatment can help to improve your gum health, prevent tooth loss, and reduce your risk of other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.

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