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Gum disease is a very common problem among Americans. While the early stage of gum disease, also called gingivitis can be easily addressed by your dentist, if gum disease is left untreated it can eventually result in tooth loss and even the loss of the bone in your jaw.

There are different causes of gum disease. Some people are genetically predisposed to gum disease. If you use tobacco, you are at a higher risk of developing gum disease, and are also at a risk of developing the deeper pockets in their gums which advances the disease. You may develop gum disease if your teeth are not properly aligned or if your dental work needs to be adjusted. If you have issues with bruxism, which is the clenching or grinding of your teeth, you may develop gum disease. Stress, certain diseases and medications can increase your chances of getting gum disease, and hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy are also factors.

However, the biggest factor in develop gum disease is the buildup of plaque on your teeth and along your gumline. The plaque houses bacteria, and if the plaque is not removed, it can harden into calculus or tartar, which attracts even more plaque. This will cause your gums to swell and allow plaque to develop below the gumline. Once there, you will not be able to reach it with a toothbrush.

Gum disease can be prevented. Even if it is a part of your genetics, you do not have to suffer from it. If you brush and floss properly, and see your dentist for regular cleanings and exams, you can prevent gum disease.

If your gums are swollen, tender, or bleed easily, or if it has just been a while since you have been in for a cleaning and exam, why not see our dentist, Dr. Steven Rattner? If you live in the College Park, Maryland area, call Steven Rattner DDS for an appointment at 301-474-8277.