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Hydro Floss

Gum Disease

If you have been told you have gum disease, you’re not alone. Many adults in the U.S. currently have some form of gum disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.   Whether your gum disease is stopped, slowed, or gets worse depends a great deal on how well you care for your teeth and gums every day, from this point forward.

What causes gum disease?

Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless plaque on teeth. Brushing, flossing and using the Hydro Floss® help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form calculus (also known as tartar) that brushing can't remove. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove calculus.

Gingivitis

The longer plaque and calculus are on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums that is called gingivitis. With gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing, flossing, use of the Hydro Floss® and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place.

Periodontitis

When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis (which means inflammation around the tooth). In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces, called pockets, that become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.

Progression of gum disease:


Risk Factors

Who gets gum disease?

People usually don’t show signs of gum disease until they are in their 30's or 40's. Men are more likely to have gum disease than women. Although teenagers rarely develop periodontitis, they can develop gingivitis, the milder form of gum disease. Most commonly, gum disease develops when plaque is allowed to build up along and under the gum line and harden into calculus.

Symptoms of gum disease include:

Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem and should be checked by a dentist. At your dental visit the dentist or hygienist should: