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What happens when your gums turn red, swollen or inflamed? If you are displaying any of these symptoms, you may have gum disease. Gum disease, or gingivitis, arises when your gums pull away from your teeth after becoming infected or inflamed. There are a variety of contributing factors to the development of gingivitis, including: smoking, heredity, diabetes, stress, aging, poor diet, hormonal fluctuations (puberty, pregnancy) and certain medications.

Plaque is the sticky bacterial film that coats the teeth and gums causing gum disease. In the early and mildest stages of gum disease, you may see red or swollen gums but have no discomfort or pain. Gingivitis is actually easily treated with good daily oral hygiene such as brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once daily, as well as having our dentist remove any hardened plaque during regular six month checkups and cleanings.

If you have advanced gingivitis, or periodontitis, the bacteria in plaque has advanced to the tissue below the gum line, leaving behind toxins from the bacteria which in turn irritate the gums. This causes inflammation so that the tissues and bones supporting the teeth break down and are destroyed. Once this happens, pockets can form between the teeth and gums where the gums have pulled away from the teeth. As the bacteria inflames and infects the gum tissue, it recedes (pulls away) from the teeth, leaving you with recessed gums. Eventually this inflammation loosens the teeth so that they may need to be removed.

Remember to maintain a thorough oral hygiene routine, eat a healthy diet, avoid smoking and tobacco use, and your gums will reward you with a bright and healthy smile. If you have any questions or concerns, please call our staff at Toluca Dental Care today! 818-760-9912.