Gum Disease Common Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common dental problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss and other health complications if left untreated.

Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the risks and consequences of gum disease. In this article, we will explore the hard truth about gum disease, including its common causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Causes of Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and gums. Plaque can cause inflammation and infection in the gums, leading to the development of gum disease. Other factors that can contribute to gum disease include poor oral hygiene, smoking, hormonal changes, genetics, and certain medications.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

The early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis, may not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums, especially during brushing or flossing
  • Receding gums, which can make teeth appear longer
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible. Early treatment can help prevent the disease from progressing and causing further damage.

Treatment Options for Gum Disease

The treatment for gum disease depends on the severity of the condition. In the early stages of gum disease, the following treatments may be recommended:

1. Improved Oral Hygiene

Brushing and flossing regularly can help remove plaque and prevent the buildup of bacteria. A dentist may also recommend using mouthwash or other oral hygiene products to help reduce inflammation.

2. Professional Cleaning

A dentist or dental hygienist can perform a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums.

3. Antibiotics

In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to help fight the infection.

In more advanced cases of gum disease, more intensive treatments may be necessary, such as:

4. Gum Surgery

A dentist or periodontist may perform surgery to remove damaged tissue and bone and restore the health of the gums.

5. Bone Grafting

If bone loss has occurred as a result of gum disease, a bone graft may be necessary to restore the bone and support the teeth.

Preventing Gum Disease

Preventing gum disease is the best way to avoid the risks and complications associated with this condition. The following tips can help reduce your risk of developing gum disease:

1. Brush and Floss Regularly

Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day to remove plaque and prevent the buildup of bacteria.

2. Use Mouthwash

Using mouthwash can help kill bacteria and reduce inflammation in the gums.

3. Quit Smoking

Smoking can increase your risk of developing gum disease and other oral health problems.

4. Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods can help support oral health and reduce your risk of developing gum disease.

5. See a Dentist Regularly

Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help prevent gum disease and detect any problems early on.


Gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss and other health complications if left untreated. By understanding the common causes, symptoms, and treatment options for gum disease, you can take steps to prevent this condition or seek early treatment if necessary.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease, be sure to see a dentist as soon as possible to protect your oral health.

At Holden Dental Arts, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality dental care for you and your family. If you’re looking for a trusted family dentist in Holden, look no further than Holden Dental Arts. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and experience the difference that personalized, top-quality dental care can make!