Poor dental hygiene can lead to problems that are more severe than the average cavity or case of bad breath. Gum disease is most commonly the result of poor dental hygiene and is the inflammation of the tissue around the teeth, according to www.medicinenet.com. Knowing the signs, symptoms, and treatment for various stages of gum disease can set you on a proactive path to avoiding a disappointing dental visit.

Signs of Gum Disease

Someone with gum disease may have the following symptoms/signs:

  • White spots on the gums
  • Gums that are pulling away from the teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Bright red or swollen gums
  • Gums that bleed easily – even during normal daily cleaning

If you are unsure if your symptoms are caused by gum disease, consult your dentist for clarification and make sure to stay on top of regular scheduled professional cleanings to reduce your risks.

Related Article: How Gum Disease Can Link to Your Overall Health

Stages of Gum Disease

Early Stage:

Gingivitis – this early stage of gum disease is characterized by the inflammation of the gums and is usually caused by an abundance of tartar or plaque in the mouth. Often, swollen gums bleed easily when brushing or flossing and this beginning stage of the disease is a warning sign to a more serious condition – periodontitis.

Progressed Stage:

Periodontitis – If gingivitis progresses, plaque will extend from the gums to the bone. Once the bone gets the infection, they can form deep gum pockets and collect even more bacteria and plaque and can lead to bone loss or even tooth loss.

Prevention Methods and Treatment

Gum disease is extremely common among adults, but the good news is that it can be easily prevented with good, daily dental care. Hygiene within your mouth is linked to your overall well being, so the importance to avoid gum disease is high. By simply brushing and flossing daily, as well as getting regular professional cleanings from your dentist are all it takes to heavily reduce your risk for gum disease.

However, if gum disease is found, usually the treatment method is simple, and dentists usually recommend upping your normal hygiene routine at home; making sure you are following the recommended daily guidelines. If periodontitis is found, a deeper cleaning may be needed to remove the high levels of plaque and bacteria that has infiltrated your gums and bone. This treatment is often called scaling or root planing.

Avoid Gum Disease, learn more about Preventative Dentistry.

Avoid Gum Disease: Prevention Starts at Home

While regular dental exams are necessary to remove tartar and detect early signs of gum disease, oral health begins by properly caring for your teeth and gums at home. According to Delta Dental, here are some measures you can take to prevent gum disease and keep your teeth for a lifetime:

  • Brush for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gum line.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. Don’t like to floss? Try a floss holder, which can make it easier to insert floss between teeth.
  • Although not a substitute for brushing and flossing, a mouth rinse can reduce plaque up to 20 percent.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Starchy and sugary foods increase plaque, and only a healthy diet provides the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.
  • Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which may contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.
  • Be aware that certain medications can also aggravate gum disease, including oral contraceptives, antidepressants and heart medicines.
  • Exercise preventive care and schedule regular checkups — the surest way to detect early signs of periodontal disease.
  • Have your dentist correct problems, such as faulty fillings, crowded teeth or teeth-grinding.

Related Article: What’s the Connection Between Diabetes and Oral Health?

Continue Your Regular Cleanings at Premier Dental

At Premier Dental, we take your oral health seriously and want to help you avoid gum disease by checking your oral health and every scheduled cleaning. We are also happy to answer any gum disease questions you have. Take the time to be extra diligent in your normal oral health routine to reduce your risk or avoid gum disease altogether.


Dr. Stephan Caye and his friendly, experienced team at Premier Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the Lee’s Summit, MO area. Our office is conveniently located off of Highway 50 and SE Blue Parkway. We offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Premier Dental, we provide most dental health services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including dental implants, dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, emergency dental care and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Please call us at (816) 600-6330 to schedule an appointment.