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Although you might not think about them very much, your gums are a key part of your oral health. They help to both protect and support the teeth. But they are among the more vulnerable areas of the mouth. They can easily become infected and damaged. What should you do if you do develop gum disease?

Gum disease is the result of bacteria in the mouth infecting the sensitive tissue around the teeth. This initially causes mild inflammation and easy bleeding, but symptoms can quickly worsen. The gums can start to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that can accumulate tartar and bacteria. If left unchecked, it can even cause teeth to loosen and fall out.

As with any disease, it is best to treat gum disease early. Caught early enough, more effective oral hygiene and a professional cleaning can sometimes do the trick. Other times, more extensive cleanings may be necessary. Here, tartar and plaque that has built up under gums is removed, and the tooth root is smoothed to make reaccumulation difficult. This can often stop the progress of gum disease.

The best treatment, though, is prevention. By practicing good oral hygiene, gum disease can be avoided entirely. Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day remove the plaque that is constantly gathering. No plaque means no infection.

To learn more about gum disease, its causes and treatments, please call Atwood Family Dental in Odessa, TX, today. We are anxious to help you have great oral health.