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A beautiful, healthy smile is not just about flashing your pearly whites. Clean white teeth and pink healthy gums are all part of the package. And if your teeth look nice but your gums look swollen and bright red something will appear off. Signs that you may have gum disease include gums that are:

–Bright red or even deep purple
–Inflamed
–Tender to the touch
–Swollen
–Bleeding

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. This causes the gum tissue to be inflamed by the buildup of plaque (the sticky film of bacteria) and tartar (hardened plaque) at the gum line. Usually tartar is removed during your six month dental cleanings. If you skip those dental cleanings and the tartar is allowed to build up, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis.

If you have advanced periodontitis, the tartar buildup near the gum line causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. When this happens, pockets in your gums develop which harbors bacterial infection. Over time the gum tissue inflammation can result in systemic inflammation which can make your immune system vulnerable. Eventually, if periodontitis is allowed to rage on unchecked, it can cause the loss of bone material which anchor the teeth, making them loose and prone to fallng out!

In the early stages of periodontitis, you can reverse it by paying meticulous attention to your daily oral hygiene routine. But once the disease has advanced you will want to see your dentist or periodontist for surgical or medicinal intervention. See your dentist or periodontist if you suspect you have serious gum issues to determine the best treatment options for you.

Take as good care of your gums as you do your teeth. See your dentist for regular scheduled deep cleanings to catch the things your daily routine may have missed. This will go a long way to preventing the ravages of advanced gum disease.

We invite you to contact our office at 816-554-7656 if you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, or to schedule your next dental cleaning and let us help you keep your smile healthy and bright!