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Gum Health

Making sure your gums are healthy is just as important as taking care of your actual teeth. Ideally, your gums should form a tight seal with gumyour teeth that bacteria cannot penetrate.

Physically, your gums should be firm, and not bleed after brushing or flossing. They are typically a light or coral shade of pink, though this can vary slightly based on ethnic origin.

Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, is typically caused by bacteria building up along the gum line. Inflamed gums are red, swollen, and bleed when brushed. Gingivitis can typically be remedied by removing the plaque causing the inflammation. For mild cases of gingivitis, often regular brushing and flossing is enough to remedy the problem.

Periodontitis refers to the inflammation of the periodontium, or the tissue that supports the teeth. Periodontitis can often follow gingivitis, if gingivitis is left untreated. With periodontitis, the inflammation of the gums spreads, affecting the tissue and bones that hold your teeth in place. This can result in loosened teeth, and even eventual tooth loss. Periodontitis is characterized by receding gums, and can be treated by removing the problematic plaque. This, however, requires professional treatment.

While plaque accumulation typically causes periodontitis, several risk factors, including diabetes, smoking and inherited susceptibility, also increase the likelihood of contracting and influence the severity of the disease.

In order to make sure that healthy gums are maintained, it is critical to brush and floss regularly, paying close attention to the area where the teeth meet the gums. This care should be supplemented by regular trips to the dentist for professional cleaning, particularly because it can be hard to detect periodontitis from the onset.

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