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What is Gum Disease? Your Kelowna Dentists Explain

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Most of us know gum disease is something we don’t want to get, and we do all kinds of things—brushing, flossing, eating well—to avoid it. However, many people don’t really know what gum disease is so the specialists at our Kelowna dental centre thought we should explain what it’s about.

What is gum disease?

It’s the leading reason why people in North America lose their teeth, and it’s one of the biggest contributors to bad breath. No wonder we’re all trying so hard to avoid it!

Gum disease is more technically referred to by our Kelowna dentists as periodontal disease. It’s caused by an infection of the bone and tissues surrounding your teeth. That infection results from the toxic, irritating, gum-damaging bacteria that’s found in plaque, which is why dentists are always stressing the importance of oral care and regular cleanings.

A build-up of plaque is one of the major causes, but there are others. Smoking is the leading cause of gum disease. The increase in sex hormones females experience in puberty and pregnancy can also make their gums sensitive and susceptible to infection.

How do dentists detect gum disease?

Dentists use X-rays and examinations to spot signs of gum disease. You’re probably aware of most of the symptoms dentists are looking for already. One of the mildest forms of gum disease, gingivitis, is made obvious with bleeding, red, puffy gums.

Other signs of gum disease include:

  • Bad breath
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums, particularly when you’re brushing or flossing
  • Loose teeth

How can you prevent gum disease?

Fortunately, gum disease is completely preventable when you take care of your teeth by:

  • Brushing at least twice a day with a soft brush
  • Flossing daily
  • Using a toothpaste and rinse containing fluoride
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Visiting your Kelowna dentist for regular cleanings

Whether you’re visiting us for cosmetic or general dentistry, we provide a comfortable experience with results that will last. Contact us to book an appointment today!


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