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Did you know that 47% of people over 30 in the United States have periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease? Worse still, many of them don’t know they have it. Gum disease is a more serious problem than you might think. Here is some basic information about its causes, symptoms, and end results.

Gum disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth found in plaque. These bacteria infect the gums when they are in contact with plaque. While initially mild and painless, it can spread down though other mouth tissues, eventually weakening bone and causing tooth loss. While anyone can get gum disease, tobacco use, advanced age, and pregnancy are common increased-risk factors.

Initially, gum disease is characterized by redness, inflammation, and easy bleeding. As the disease progresses, gums begin to recede from teeth. Over time, this exposes the softer root structure, leaving teeth vulnerable to decay. As connective tissue and bone are weakened, teeth start becoming loose, and may even fall out or need to be removed. You may also notice difference in how your teeth fit together and bad breath.

Fortunately, all this is completely preventable. By removing plaque from the mouth, you also remove the risk of gum disease. Be sure to brush twice a day and floss daily. Dr. Elliot Einbinder also provides treatment for many stages of gum disease at his Pikesville, MD, office.

If you would like to learn more about gum disease or have experienced some of its symptoms, please give Wellwood Family Dentistry a call today. We want to work with you to get you the best smile possible.