Gum disease, more medically known as periodontal disease, is an
infection that destroys the gums and the bone that supports your teeth. It can
affect one or more teeth, removing bone without you knowing until it's too
The primary cause is plaque, a colorless film that forms all the time around
your teeth. When left untended, plaque can harden into tartar, which can only be
removed by a dental professional. However, many factors can affect gum
Genetics. If you're family has a history of periodontal disease, you're more
likely to develop it.
Bad oral hygiene. Not brushing or flossing after every meal allows tartar to
Tobacco. Smoking not only increases the chances of periodontal disease but
can affect treatment.
Poor nutrition. Without the right food, your body is less able to ward off
You won't always experience the symptoms of gum disease, but some of them
include the following.
Bleeding while you brush or floss.
Tender and swollen gums.
Loose or separating teeth.
Constant bad breath.
Gums receding from the teeth, making them appear longer.
Treatment for gum disease varies according to how far the infection has
progressed. In the early stages, we may simply remove the tartar, and
recommend brushing and flossing to minimize the problem. Later stages may see
significant bone loss, which may require surgery.
The best way to determine if you have periodontal disease is to contact us,
your Gettysburg dentist, so we can
examine your gums and teeth.