Smile Beautiful Dentistry Karessa Kuntz
Smile Beautiful Dentistry Monroeville

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Gum Disease

What is Gum Disease?

Gingivitis, also generally called gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in your mouth and may end -- if not properly treated -- with tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may realize that you have it. That’s why routine cleanings and examination by Dr. Kuntz are so important for early detection and treatment of problems before they get severe.

What's the Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis?

Gingivitis (gum inflammation) usually precedes periodontitis (gum disease). However, it is important to know that not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria create toxins that can damage the gums and acids that attack the enamel of the teeth and cause “cavities”. Healthy gums are nice and coral pink, do not bleed when brushed or flossed. In the early stages of gum disease, called “gingivitis”, the gums can become red, swollen, and bleed easily.

The good news is at this stage the disease is totally reversible and can usually be eliminated by effective oral hygiene (at least twice daily brushing and flossing). The bad news is, left untreated; the disease will progress to some amount of bone loss. In the more advanced stages of gum disease, called “periodontitis”, the gums and the bone that support the teeth can become seriously damaged. Because periodontitis is a slow chronic problem there is no acute pain episode to alert the patient to the problem until severe destruction has already occurred.

What are the signs of gum disease/periodontitis?

If you notice any of the following signs of gum disease, see your dentist immediately:

  • Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Bad breath that doesn't go away
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth to any degree
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the fit of removable partial dentures



Cleaning between your teeth with floss or inter-dental cleaners removes bacteria and food particles from between the teeth, where a toothbrush can’t reach. Daily brushing and flossing can often reverse early gum disease.