Gum Disease - Topic Overview
Your dentist or dental hygienist may take X-rays of your
teeth to look for bone damage and other problems.
How is it treated?
If you have a mild case of gum
disease, you will probably be able to take care of it by brushing and flossing
your teeth every day and getting regular cleanings at your dentist's
If your gum disease has become worse and you have
periodontitis, your dentist or dental hygienist will clean your teeth using a
method called root planing and scaling. This removes the plaque and tartar
buildup both above and below the gum line. You may also need to take
antibiotics to help get rid of the infection in your
mouth. If your gum disease is severe, you may need to have surgery.
How can you prevent gum disease?
Gum disease is most common in adults, but it can affect anyone, even
children. So good dental habits are important throughout your life:
- Brush your teeth 2 times a day, in the morning and before
bedtime, with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss your teeth once each
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and teeth
- Don't use tobacco products.
If you think you have a mild case of gum disease, make sure
to take care of it before it gets worse. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy
and getting regular checkups from your dentist can keep the disease from
Having gum disease may increase a pregnant woman's
risk of having a premature, low-birth-weight baby.1 Also, studies have found a direct link between heart disease and
the bacteria that cause gum disease.2 So taking good
care of your teeth and gums may have benefits beyond keeping your mouth
Frequently Asked Questions