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Your gums are an integral part of your oral health as they surround and support your pearly whites. Did you know that gum disease, or periodontal disease, is one of the biggest causes of tooth loss in adults? This can happen because gum disease itself can be painless, so unless you are maintaining routine dental visits, you may not even be aware that you have it.

The main culprit behind gum disease is plaque, a sticky, bacterial film that forms every day on your teeth. You can remove it through daily brushing and flossing to prevent it from hardening into tartar. Once plaque hardens, it will need to be removed by dental professionals.

To treat gum disease, you will need to see our dentist as soon as possible. Early treatment can stop it in its tracks and even reverse. In the early stage, gum disease is known as gingivitis, and signs to look out for include red, swollen and bleeding gums. Treatment at this stage includes stepping up your oral hygiene routine; brushing at least twice each day and flossing at least once, followed by a professional dental cleaning.

Advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, leads to the loss of gum tissue and bone which support the teeth. Eventually, the teeth will begin to shift in the mouth. If periodontitis is not treated it you may lose teeth. Not only can you lose teeth, your bite can change so that your teeth do not fit together when you bite and chew, and even change the way partial dentures fit.

To maintain healthy gums, see our dentists for routine dental checkups and periodontal exams. Brush and floss daily, and eat a healthy diet. To find out more, please call 212-697-1122 today. At Paul Tanners, D.D.S. in New York, New York, Drs. Paul Tanners and Steve Manson are happy to help you maintain your healthy smile!