5 Facts About Gum Disease

Learn about Gum Disease from the Dentists at Grove City Smiles

The dentists at Grove City Smiles help our patients learn about gum disease so that they can avoid this common problem. Gum disease is an uncomfortable condition that can cause swollen, bleeding gums. Left untreated, it can also cause you to lose your teeth!

Here are five things we’d like you to know about gum disease and gum disease treatment. 

5 Things You Should Know about Gum Disease

1. Gum disease is common

If you have gum disease, you are not alone: nearly half of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. Almost 10 percent of American adults have severe gum disease, also known as periodontitis. This means millions of Americans experience symptoms of gum disease, such as:

  • Gums that bleed easily – blood may make their toothbrush look pink
  • Swelling and/or tender areas in their gum tissue
  • Discolored (bright red, dark red, purple) or patchy gum tissue
  • Loose teeth
  • Pockets that form between the teeth and gums
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Bad breath

2. Gum disease can cause your teeth to fall out and even lead to serious illness

Left untreated, gum disease will destroy your gums and damage the bones that hold your teeth in place. In fact, gum disease is the number one reason American adults lose their teeth, according to the National Institutes of Health

Gum disease can affect your overall health too. The American Academy of Periodontology says that gum disease can worsen other health issues, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease

4. Gum disease is caused by bacteria and poor dental hygiene

Millions of bacteria live in your mouth. Yuck! Most bacteria are harmless and a few are even beneficial, but some bacteria can cause infections that lead to gum disease.

Bacteria feed on the sugars you consume in food and beverages. As they eat, bacteria release acid powerful enough to eat away at your tooth enamel to cause cavities. The acid can also irritate your gums.

Bacteria can combine with food particles and your saliva to form plaque, a yellowish film that can stick to the surface of your teeth and gums. Plaque is relatively easy to remove with daily brushing and flossing, but it comes back within a couple hours of eating or drinking. 

If you skip brushing and flossing to leave plaque in place, the plaque can harden into tartar. The bacteria-rich tartar is very difficult to remove - in fact, only your dentist or dental hygienist has the tools necessary to remove tartar. 

Left in place, the bacteria in tartar can cause a gum infection, also known as gum disease or gingivitis. Your body responds to the presence of bacteria-rich plaque by swelling up. This inflammation can cause your gums to pull away from the surface of your teeth, which allows pockets to form between your teeth and your gums. This pocket can go down all the way to the roots of your teeth, which are embedded in your jawbone. Bacteria can travel down the pocket to the roots and jawbone to cause infections – and loose or missing teeth – there. 

4. Gum disease is preventable

You can usually avoid gum disease by brushing twice a day and flossing once daily. Regular dental appointments and dental cleanings can help you avoid gum disease.

5. Gum disease is treatable

Fortunately, gum disease is treatable. Gingivitis treatment starts with a comprehensive evaluation and accurate diagnosis. The dental team at Grove City Smiles provides comprehensive gum disease evaluation and treatment that may include: 

  • A thorough examination of your gums
  • An accurate and timely diagnosis
  • Advanced diagnostics, such as using special microscopes or testing the DNA in your saliva to detect the presence of the bacteria that cause gum disease
  • Professional dental cleanings and gum therapy in our comfortable office
  • Continual follow-up care to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy
  • Education about available treatments and preventive techniques for periodontal disease

Every member of the Grove City Smiles dental team wants to help you maintain your beautiful smile by avoiding, treating, and managing gum disease. We offer periodontal treatment and deep cleanings, also called root planing and scaling, to get rid of the bacteria that is causing your gum disease. We also have an on-staff periodontist who performs advanced periodontal treatments, including periodontal surgery, to keep your smile happy and healthy!

For more information about gum disease, contact Grove City Smiles. Every member of our dental team is dedicated to providing the best possible care that is focused on you, your goals, your lifestyle and your smile. You’ll notice the Grove City Smiles difference the moment you walk through our doors. 


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We look forward to meeting you. Call (614) 350-5300 or request an appointment online to set up your first visit. We’ll be in touch soon.

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