Flanders Dental Studio

Gum Disease

Do you have red, receding, or tender gums? Are your teeth sensitive? Have you noticed pockets forming between your gums and your teeth? These are all telltale signs of gum disease. 

Brushing and flossing twice daily in addition to having regular checkups and professional cleanings are critical to maintaining your dental health. But it’s not just your teeth that benefit from those habits. Your gums also stay healthy when you follow recommended dental hygiene routines. By taking these steps, you eliminate harmful bacteria from remaining in your mouth. When allowed to flourish, those bacteria can cause gum disease or periodontal disease.

Though this may begin as minor oral discomfort, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, jawbone recession, and even serious systemic health problems like cardiovascular disease. Don’t let gum disease go untreated. Warning signs of gum disease include:

  • Swollen, tender, or bleeding gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Deep pockets between gums and teeth
  • Heightened tooth sensitivity
  • Loose or shifting teeth

Gum Disease and Whole Body Health

Unfortunately, the destructive effects of gum disease don’t stop with the mouth. Studies have shown that gum disease has been positively linked to systemic health issues including heart disease, stroke, cancer, respiratory disease, diabetes, and pregnancy complications. This is because the same bacteria that trigger gum disease can travel through your body and reach your major organs. With all the dangers gum disease presents, it’s easy to see why you should do your best to prevent it and get help at the first sign of symptoms!


The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis is caused by plaque and calculus buildup along the gumline. This stage is usually accompanied by swollen gums that may bleed while brushing and flossing. At this point, the disease has not reached the bone underneath the gums, and as a result, is reversible.


At this second stage, your gums may be receding, and deep “pockets” have formed between your teeth and gums. These pockets are hollow areas that harbor tartar, plaque, and disease-causing bacteria. Open and susceptible to infection, bacteria has reached and permanently damaged your jawbone. If you believe you’re at this stage, seek gum disease treatment immediately to prevent further damage and tooth loss.

Advanced Periodontitis

During the final stage of gum disease, the infection has progressed and damaged the connective tissues and jawbone that support your teeth. As a result, your teeth can loosen, shift, and fall out. This may result in changes to your bite and malocclusion. We highly recommend immediate treatment and may advise receiving osseous surgery to manage the disease.