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Did you know that your gums are an important part of your oral health because they surround and support your pearly whites? Or that gum disease, or periodontal disease, is one of the biggest causes of tooth loss in adults? This can occur because gum disease itself can be painless, so unless you are maintaining routine dental visits, you may not even be aware that you are experiencing it.

The main culprit behind gum disease is plaque–a sticky, bacterial film that forms every day on your teeth. You can remove it through daily brushing and flossing to prevent it from hardening into tartar. Once plaque hardens, it will need to be removed by dental professionals.

To treat gum disease, you will need to see our dentist as soon as possible. Early treatment can stop it in its tracks and even reverse. In the early stage, gum disease is known as gingivitis, and signs to look out for include red, swollen and bleeding gums. Treatment at this stage includes stepping up your oral hygiene routine; brushing at least twice each day and flossing at least once, followed by a professional dental cleaning.

Advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, leads to the loss of gum tissue and bone which support the teeth. Eventually, the teeth will begin to shift in the mouth. If periodontitis is not treated it you may lose teeth. Not only can you lose teeth, your bite can change so that your teeth do not fit together when you bite and chew, and even change the way partial dentures fit.

To ensure your healthy gums, make routine, professional dental checkups and exams a priority for your oral health. Get into the habit of brushing and flossing daily without fail, and strive for a healthy diet. For more information, or to schedule your next visit, please call 505.898.8063 today. At Gilbert Fernandez, D.D.S., Inc. in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dr. Gilbert Fernandez and our team are happy to help you achieve your healthiest smile yet!