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Have you been told you have gum disease? If so, it’s time to step up your daily brushing and flossing routine, and possibly using a mouthwash to help lower the bacteria levels in your mouth. Let’s look at how gum disease affects your smile!

Your mouth contains millions of oral bacteria which mix with oral debris and mucus to form plaque. This sticky film coats the teeth and gums and if it isn’t removed daily, will harden into tartar. Once hardened, only your dental team can remove this hard deposit along the gumline.
In the early stage of gum disease, plaque and tartar inflame the gum tissue, which swells and reddens. Known as gingivitis, this stage is reversible with proper intervention. Your dentist will need to move tartar build up and advise you to step up your daily brushing and flossing care.

If, however, gingivitis is left untreated, the disease will advance. Once it reaches the stage called periodontitis, the inflammation only worsens. The gums will recede from the teeth, leaving behind pockets of space where bacteria can hide and thrive. Your body will fight this inflammation and along with the toxins released from the bacterial buildup, will cause plaque to accumulate under beneath the gum line. Over time, this breaks down the bone as well as the connective tissue which serves to hold your teeth in place, allowing the teeth to loosen until they either fall out or are removed by your dentist.

The good news is, you can help keep gum disease from harming your oral health by making time to brush and floss every day and seeing your dentist regularly. To schedule an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Lee F. Peterson, please call Lee F. Peterson DDS in Hanford, California, at 559-584-8129 today.