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What is Gum Disease?

Periodontitis, also called gum disease, is a serious gum infection that damages soft tissue and can destroy the bone that supports your teeth without treatment. Periodontitis can cause loosening of the teeth or loss of teeth.

Periodontitis is common but largely preventable. It is often the result of poor oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and having regular dental checkups can greatly increase your chances of successful treatment for periodontitis and also reduce your chances of developing it.


Healthy gums are firm and pale pink in color and fit tightly around the teeth. Signs and symptoms of periodontitis may include:

  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Bright red, dark red, or purplish gums
  • Gums that are sensitive to touch
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Pink toothbrush after brushing
  • Coughing up blood when brushing or flossing your teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Push it between your teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth or tooth loss
  • Painful chewing
  • New spaces developing between your teeth
  • Gums that move away from your teeth, showing your teeth longer than normal
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

If you notice any signs of periodontitis, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you seek care, the better your chances of reversing the damage from periodontitis.

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