Ask the Dentist: How Can I Avoid Gum Disease?

I’m going to discuss a problem affecting our mouths as we get older: gum disease or in dental terms – periodontal disease. To avoid gum disease, we must first understand what it is and what causes the problem. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), gum disease is an inflammation of the gums and in severe cases, can lead to the loss of the supporting bone holding your teeth in place.

Gum disease is primarily caused by bacteria called plaque, which can naturally build on our teeth throughout the day. If the plaque is not removed, it can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth and form pockets where more bacteria can collect. If left untreated, gum disease can damage the bone that supports your teeth, ultimately resulting in the loss of those teeth.

To avoid gum disease it’s important to take proper care of your mouth by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Most importantly, make sure to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

About Dr. Gary Vance

Dr. Vance has been a practicing dentist for more than 35 years and is currently a dental associate at a private practice in Plymouth, Mich. He graduated from the University of Detroit’s School of Dentistry and is a member of the American Dental Association, Michigan Dental Association, Detroit District Dental Society and the American Association of Dental Consultants. Dr. Vance has been a dental consultant for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for the past 15 years and is the newest blogger for A Healthier Michigan.

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