Periodontal (gum) disease not only poses a threat to one's oral health, but can be painful, as well. How you care for your teeth and gums everyday makes a big difference. If you already suffer from gum disease, regular care can prevent things from getting worse. Some signs of gum disease include:

  • Red, tender, swollen or bleeding gums
  • Persistent bad breath that won't go away
  • Pain while chewing
  • Teeth that are sensitive, or have become loose
  • Gums that are receding

The mouth is full of bacteria that constantly form plaque. Regular brushing and flossing will help to get rid of this plaque. When plaque is not removed regularly, it can harden and form tartar that cannot be removed by brushing alone. Only a dental hygienist can properly remove tartar from your teeth.


Gingivitis is the gingiva (gums) that become infected from tartar buildup on the teeth and gums. One sign of Gingivitis is bleeding gums while flossing or brushing your teeth. The good news is that Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease and can often be reversed with regular dental cleaning, brushing and flossing. This form of gum disease does not cause loss of bone.

Advanced Gum Disease

When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to serious inflammation around the tooth. The gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces or pockets that become infected. As the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line, the body's immune system starts to fight back. The toxins and the body's natural response together start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. The teeth may eventually need to be removed.