Ask the Dentist: How Can I Avoid Gum Disease?

Dr. Gary Vance

| 1 min read

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.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.