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Gum Disease

Posted in Dental Care, General Dentistry, Pediatric Dental, and Tooth Extraction

Gum Disease Is An Infection

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. Typically, it is the result of poor brushing and flossing habits. Without a regular and thorough routine plaque (bacteria) builds on the surface of your teeth and hardens. If left to progress, gum disease can lead to bleeding gums, tooth loss and pain or discomfort.

What Causes It?

All mouths contain lots of bacteria. The presence of bacteria, together with mucus and food particles, form a sticky, colorless plaque on teeth. This is a continuous cycle. Brushing and flossing helps remove plaque. But we never completely get rid of it. Therefore, plaque that is left can harden into tartar. Only a professional cleaning by dental hygienist can remove it.

In addition to bad dental hygiene there are other things known to cause or progress gum infections. Of all of them, smoking is the worst. Efforts made to reverse gum disease can also be less successful if smoking continues.  Other known risk factors include immune diseases, diabetes, hormone changes, medications that dry out the mouth, and genetic predisposition.


Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Abnormal gaps around tooth base


If you suspect that you have gum disease visit your dentist. Dr. Mathews team will examine your gums and note any signs of inflammation. The exam may include measuring any pockets around the teeth. In a healthy mouth, the depth of these pockets is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters. This test for pocket depth is usually painless. If you are new to Erbsville Dental, you may be asked about your medical history to identify conditions or risk factors (such as smoking or diabetes) that may contribute to gum disease. An x-ray is usually needed to see whether there is any bone loss.


Controlling the infection and eventually reversing its effect is the goal of the treatment. Depending on the extent of the gum infection, the number and types of treatment will be different for each patient. Dental scaling is one treatment that might be required. Any suggested treatment will need to be supported by a good daily routine of brushing and flossing. A lifestyle change is sometimes necessary. Therefore, avoiding the use of cigarettes may be suggested, to help improve treatment results.

If you think you may have gum disease call Erbsville Dental for help. 519-342-1166

If you are interested in quitting smoking visit