It is so important to take care of your teeth, and not just because you want a beautiful smile. When you don’t take care of your oral health, you risk not only your winning smile, but your teeth. One problem that can arise from bad oral health care is gum disease. This is an inflammation and infection of the mouth that is caused by plaque and tartar, which often accumulate when a person does not brush, floss, or visit their dentist regularly for deep, professional cleanings.

There are several stages of gum disease, which include gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. The initial stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, typically shows signs through redness and inflammation of the gums. An individual with gingivitis may also notice bleeding and possibly sensitivity when brushing their teeth.

The second stage of gum disease, called periodontitis, is when the gum disease advances to the point where the gums begin to recede away from the teeth and form “pockets” where food and bacteria can get trapped and continue to cause further infection and inflammation.

Advanced periodontitis, the most severe stage of gum disease, is when teeth may shift, loosen, or fall out of a patient’s mouth. At this point, the gum disease causes irreversible damage to your smile.

Common signs of gum disease include:

  • bleeding of the gums while brushing or flossing
  • inflamed and/or red swollen gums
  • recession of gums from the teeth
  • pus from the gum line
  • stubborn bad breath
  • shifting teeth

Brushing and flossing daily, as well as maintaining regular visits with your dentists for thorough, professional cleanings, are just a few ways that you can take control of your oral health and ensure that you fight off the problems associated with gum disease. Dr. Milligan of Eastland Dental Center in Bloomington can schedule you for a consultation appointment and educate you and your family on how to protect yourselves from gum disease and other irreversible dental concerns with proper oral health care.

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