Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection. It affects the tissues and bone that support the teeth. Healthy gum tissue fits like a cuff around each tooth. When someone has periodontal disease, the gum tissue pulls away from the tooth. As the disease gets worse, the tissue and bone that support the tooth are damaged. Over time, teeth may fall out or need to be removed. Treating periodontal disease in the early stages can help prevent tooth loss.
• gums that bleed when you brush or floss
• red, swollen or tender gums
•gums that have pulled away from your teeth
• bad breath that doesn't go away
• pus between your teeth and gums
• a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
• a change in the fit of partial dentures
• Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
• Floss or use another between-the-teeth cleaner daily to remove plaque and food from areas your toothbrush can't reach.
• Your dentist or hygienist may recommend using a germ-fighting mouth-rinse or other products.
• Visit your dentist regularly. If plaque stays on your teeth, it hardens into tartar (also called "calculus"). Professional cleanings are the only way to remove tartar, which traps bacteria along the gum-line.
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