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Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection affecting the gums and connective tissues. After plaque and tartar remain on teeth for too long, the bacteria in them slide under and along the gums, resulting in serious inflammation and eventual tooth loss.

Gum disease comes in two varieties: gingivitis and periodontitis.

If you have developed gingivitis, you’re on the better side of the disease. Gingivitis is the less severe form of gum disease, and it’s reversible with a bit of help from your local dental professional. When you have gingivitis, your gums will show as red, bloody and puffy.

The more advanced form of gum disease is known as periodontitis, and in it, the swollen gums recede from the teeth and create bacteria-filled pockets; this can lead to losing teeth. As your body attempts to ward off the infection, it can break down bones and tissues supporting the teeth, creating major damage. If you think you may have periodontitis, please seek professional treatment as soon as possible.

There are some things you can do to prevent gum disease. As always, we recommend that you brush twice daily, floss once every day and follow a healthy diet. For further information about gum disease, please set up your next appointment with our practice in Wheaton, Illinois, by calling 630-668-3423. Dr. Rob Holdridge and the staff of Rob Holdridge, DMD & Associates would be happy to address any of your questions.