Everything You need to Know About Gum Disease

Everything You need to Know About Gum Disease

Posted by ROBINSON FAMILY DENTISTRY on Aug 15 2021, 11:03 PM

Everything You need to Know About Gum Disease

A large majority of people in and around Hanahan, SC, suffer from some form of gum disease, varying from mild, temporary gum inflammation to severe conditions like gum decay and deterioration of bones supporting the teeth. If gum disease is left untreated, this may cause severe pain and tooth loss.

What is Gum disease?

Any severe gum infection that destroys the gums and can damage the jawbone can be termed gum disease. Gum disease can be of two severities - gingivitis is the mild form of gum disease and leads to an inflammation of the gums, caused as a result of bacterial infection. When gingivitis is not treated appropriately, it can lead to a more severe infection called periodontitis.

What causes gingivitis and periodontitis?

In most cases, plaque, a sticky film made of bacteria and forms on the surface of the teeth, causes gum disease. If plaque is not removed well, it can harden to become tartar. And, once it advances and extends below the gum line, an infection can occur, leading to gum disease.

Gum disease starts without warning, and as it progresses, the gums start to become sore, bleed, and cause bad breath. 

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to severe periodontitis, causing the separation of gums from the teeth and change of bite. If the infection advances, injury to the gums and the bone supporting the teeth can occur, the tooth may become unstable and lead to a loosened or lost tooth. 

Risk factors for gingivitis and periodontitis

Besides lack of oral hygiene, several other factors contribute to the development of gingivitis and periodontitis:

  • use of tobacco
  • crooked or misaligned teeth
  • severe diabetes
  • poorly fitted dental devices
  • broken fillings
  • pregnancy hormones
  • genetics
  • compromised immunity resulting from HIV/AIDS
  • chemotherapy and usage of certain steroids, oral contraceptives, anticonvulsants, and calcium channel blockers

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Healthy gums are usually firm in texture, pale pink in color, and fit well around the teeth. Signs and symptoms of periodontitis may include:

  • Swollen gums
  • Gums that are purplish or bright red in color
  • Tender gums
  • Easily bleeding gums when brushing or flossing the teeth
  • Severe bad breath that doesn’t go away even after brushing the teeth
  • Pus oozing between teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth 
  • Pain while chewing
  • Development of spaces between the teeth
  • Receding gums that make the teeth appear longer
  • Change in the bite


Advanced gum Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss. Besides, when the bacteria that cause periodontitis enter the bloodstream through the gum tissue, it can cause harm to other parts of the body as well. Periodontitis is linked with other conditions like respiratory disease, coronary artery disease, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.


It is vital to practice regular oral hygiene and have regular dental visits to help prevent gum disease. 

Good oral hygiene.Brush your teeth at least twice every day or after every meal for two minutes, and floss your teeth at least once every day. Maintenance of good oral hygiene inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause periodontal disease.

Regular dental visits.Visit your dentist for dental cleanings at least twice every year. However, if you suffer from conditions like dry mouth, or if you are a regular smoker, or if you regularly consume certain medications that increase the risk of periodontitis, you may need dental visits and cleaning more often.

Consuming a balanced diet is also important to maintain good dental health.

Do you want to know more about gum disease? Call Robinson Family Dentistry at (843) 554-9332 or schedule an appointment online.

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    1281 Yeamans Hall Road, Hanahan, SC 29410

    Phone: (843) 554-9332

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    Email: office@hanahanfamilydentistry.com

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