The human gums are important and we should take care of our gums as much as we can. People with gum disease (which affects up to 50% of American adults) are twice as likely to suffer from other health problems. Gum disease is caused by plaque, which is a stick film made of bacteria, mucus, and other particles that form on the teeth. Once the plaque is not removed, it hardens into tarter that gives a home to bacteria and the bacteria in the plaque and tarter causes inflammation of the gums called gingivitis.

The common symptoms of Gingivitis is bright red gums, swollen gums, tender gums, bleeding gums (blood on toothbrush while brushing), mouth sores.

The people that have a higher chance of getting this type of Periodontal Disease are people with poor dental hygiene routines, pregnant woman (hormonal changes raises the gum sensitivity), people with uncontrolled diabetes, people with misaligned teeth, and unclean mouth appliances (retainers, braces, crowns).

To prevent and treat this problem, routinely have a check-up with your dentist. Your dentist should be able to determine if you indeed have Periodontal Disease at a regular check up just by examining your teeth and gums. To treat Gingivitis, the dentist will use tools to removes deposits from your teeth and teach you techniques to daily brushing and flossing better. Professional tooth cleaning visits may be required twice a year or more to prevent further Gingivitis problems. Using anti-bacterial mouthwash could be helpful as well as any necessary repair for misaligned teeth problems.

If Gingivitis isn’t properly treated for, Periodontis may likely occur. Periodontis is the more extreme case of Periodontal Disease between the two. Periodontis is an infection that spreads from the gums to the bone and ligaments that support your teeth. With the destruction of the support, this will cause your teeth to eventually fall out. This is the key cause to adult tooth loss.

The early symptoms of Periodontis are very similar to Gingivitis. In order to prevent and treat this problem, you must maintain good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly, along with occasional visits for dental cleaning should help prevent this problem. To be able to prevent Gingivitis, you should be able to avoid Periodontis as well.

Also, when you get older and your gums get worst, you might have to look into getting dentures. A denture is a removable replacement for teeth that are missing and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures that are available (complete and partial dentures). Complete dentures are used for people that have all the teeth missing and partial dentures are used when some natural teeth still remain.

Complete dentures can be either “immediate” or “conventional”. There are made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth roughly 8-12 weeks after the teeth have been removed. Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth removed. As a result, the person wearing the dentures doesn’t have to be without teeth during the healing period.

However, bones and gums shrink over time and especially during the healing period following the removal of teeth. Therefore there is a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they need more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and normally should be considered only as a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.

Best way to maintain healthy gums? Brush your teeth correctly (use soft-bristled brush and toothpaste that contains fluoride)- place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against your gums and brush each tooth 15-20 times- move the brush gently with short strokes- brush the outer tooth surfaces using short, back and forth strokes, floss with care, watch what you eat (calcium-rich foods maintains the bone that the tooth roots are embedded in, avoid sticky sweets as much as you can and chew sugar-free gum as opposed to sugar gum).