Gum Disease: What Is It and How to Prevent It?

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A healthy mouth is not only about having bright and clean teeth. Gums should also be given the same amount of attention as the teeth. Did you know that having a pearly white and cavity-free teeth do not guarantee that you are safe from gum disease? This is because gum disease causes no pain at first; this makes the person unaware that something is wrong with their gums until it becomes worse.

gum disease

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by the building up of plaques under and along the gum line. Plaques are a sticky film-like substance that is filled with bacteria that if not removed immediately, it can cause infections that harm the gum and bones. Over time, it can lead to tooth decay or gum disease.

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease wherein it usually causes the gums to become inflamed, red, swollen, tender, and prone to bleeding. On the other hand, periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease that affects the bones holding the teeth, and if left untreated, it can damage the gums, bones, and tissues connected to the teeth. Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease that causes fibers and bones that support the teeth to become damaged. Advanced periodontitis can also affect a person’s bite, and teeth may need to be extracted.

Ways to prevent gum disease

Gum disease can be avoided if people will only follow the preventive measures diligently. Below are a few ways to help keep the gums healthy and prevent gum disease:

Brush the teeth

Brushing the teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush can help remove the remaining food particles and plaque trapped in between the teeth and gums. Scrubbing the tongue is also essential because this is where bacteria can harbor.

A battery-powered or electric toothbrush is also recommended because it can help reduce plaque and gingivitis more compared to manual brushing. It is also essential to replace toothbrushes or toothbrush heads every three to four months or when the bristles start to fray.


Flossing at least once a day is necessary because it helps remove food particles and plaque that a toothbrush can’t reach.

Get regular dental checkups and cleanings

Dentists can monitor the condition of the mouth with dental checkups and cleanings. Through this, they can detect early signs of gum disease and treat it right away before it becomes worse. Professional dental cleaning is the only option to remove stubborn plaque and tartar that brushing and flossing missed.

Quit smoking

Smoking is strongly associated with gum disease and other health problems. It weakens a person’s immune system, making it harder for their body to fight off a gum infection. Also, smoking delays the healing of gums that have been damaged.

Use fluoride toothpaste

When buying toothpaste, always make sure to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the ADA seal of acceptance.

Use a therapeutic mouthwash

Therapeutic mouthwash helps in minimizing plaque and prevent or reduce gingivitis, reduce the development of tartar, or a combination of the said benefits. Rinsing the mouth with a therapeutic mouthwash helps in removing food particles and debris left in the mouth. But remember that using mouthwash is not a substitute for flossing or brushing. When choosing the right mouthwash, always look for the ADA seal.

If you experience early signs of periodontal disease, like the sudden bleeding of gums, bad breath, or loose teeth, contact our office at Family Dental Care for our Gum Disease Treatment in Beaverton, OR. Our dental office is located at 8070 SW Hall Blvd. #200, Beaverton, OR 97008.