Gum Disease 101

Picture of dentures sculpture.

Often times we only notice the signs of gum disease once the disease has progressed. Typically gum disease is painless which is why it goes undetected. The main cause of gum disease is plaque (sticky film of bacteria) that is constantly forming on teeth. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to gum disease, however, if caught early, steps can be taken to reverse the damage.

A few factors to consider:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Genetics
  • Crooked teeth
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications (contact Buhite & Buhite, DDS for a specific list)

Take these warning signs into consideration:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Chronic bad breath or bad taste
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in your bite or the way your teeth fit together
  • Any change in the fit of dentures
  • Pockets between gums and teeth
  • Receding gums (exposing more of the tooth or the root)

It is crucial to make an appointment with us if you suspect you have gum disease. The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis (red, swollen, bleeding gums) which can often be reversed with a teeth cleaning at our office along with daily brushing and flossing and use of other dental devices such as water piks and electronic toothbrushes. If the disease is advanced, this is called periodontitis. This can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that supports the teeth. If severe enough, teeth may begin to feel loose or shift around in your mouth.

Gum disease often has no signs, that’s why it’s so important to keep up with regular dental checkups and at least semi-annual teeth cleanings. At home daily tooth care is also essential for prevention; this includes brushing teeth at least twice per day, daily flossing and a healthy balanced diet.

Our highly skilled and experienced staff takes a team approach to providing some of the best dental care in Rochester. We strive to provide the highest quality dental care possible by focusing on our patients' comfort and overall dental health. Visit our website at to see our full range of services, then give us a call at (585) 342-1323 to schedule your appointment.

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