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Taking care of your gums is a very important aspect of your oral health. Your gums can can fall prey to gum disease and you may not know that you have it, since in its earliest stages it is often painless. However, if gum disease is not detected and treated, you can lose your teeth, and suffer damage to your jaw bone. Infections that can enter your body through diseased gums can have serious effects on other parts of your body.

While gum disease can be painless, there are other symptoms of which you should be aware. Healthy gums are pink in color. If your gums are red, or even blue, gum disease may be present. Your gums may bleed when your brush or floss, and you may experience chronic bad breath, and loose teeth. Your gums may recede, or pull away from your teeth.

There are several causes of gum disease, but by far, the most common cause is plaque. Plaque builds up on everyone’s teeth over time. If it is not removed, it will harden into tartar. As plaque grows, your body reacts with swollen gums. This allows the plaque to work its way below the gumline, where it cannot be reached by your toothbrush. This in turn, allows infection to enter your body.

If you want to fight gum disease, there are three things that you can do. The first is to brush at least twice a day for two minutes at a time with a fluoride toothpaste. The second is floss at least once a day, making sure to floss below your gumline. The third thing that you can do is to keep your routine appointments with your dentist. During your visits, the dentist can remove the plaque and tartar that you did not remove from brushing, and check you for signs of gum disease.

If your dentist finds gum disease, he may suggest some changes to your lifestyle or your oral health routine. Medications or surgery may be needed in other cases, or you may need a deep cleaning of your teeth and their roots, a process known as scaling and root planing.

To make an appointment to see Dr. John Moreno at E. John Moreno DMD Inc. in Irvine, California, call 949-487-9220. We look forward to helping you have a bright and healthy smile!