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Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can spread to the bones that hold your teeth in place. This is one of the most common reasons people lose teeth. There are two stages of gum disease, but if you catch it early, you can make it go away before there's damage.

What are some of the symptoms?
The first stage of gum disease is sometimes called gingivitis. Here are some of the warning signs.

  • Red, swollen, or painful gums.
  • Gums that bleed when you brush them.
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth.
  • Bad breath that doesn't go away.

Mild gingivitis is common in pregnant women. If you are pregnant you should take good care of yourself, including your dental health.

The second stage of gum disease is more serious. You might have some of the warning signs listed above and some of the following warning signs, too.

  • Pus oozing between your teeth and gums.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Big gaps between your teeth where your gums should be.
  • A change in how your teeth fit together when you bite down.

How do you treat it?
If you have any signs in the first stage, brush and floss more often and go see a dentist. If you treat the problems now, you can keep it from getting worse.

If you have any signs in the second stage, see a dentist as soon as possible. Your teeth could fall out, or they may have to be pulled out by the dentist if you're not treated immediately. If the gum disease is very bad your dentist may need to refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in gum disease.


(Source: American Dental Association)

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