Plaque is transferred to the teeth when you choose to eat foods that contain a lot of starch or sugar. Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. Bacterial plaque – a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth – is recognized as the primary cause of gum disease.

Dr. Elmira Abraamyan of Sunrise Family Dentistry in Roseville, CA says, “Once an individual is diagnosed with gum disease, the standard treatment available involves intensive cleaning of the teeth above and below the gum line.” This is a repetitive practice (every 3 to 6 months) that often requires a local anesthetic. Severe cases may require surgery, but many patients leave their disease untreated and therefore lose their teeth.

To keep your teeth and gums healthy, it is important to floss daily and brush at least twice a day with a soft or electric toothbrush. Good dental hygiene at home and regular dental cleanings help maintain above and below the gum line free of plaque and tartar.

This way you prevent problems such as gum recession, cavities, bone loss and eventual tooth loss. Because gum disease is silent, many people who ignore it or are unaware that they have the disease end up losing teeth and have no other choice but to wear dentures.