Gum disease is an oral infection that damages the soft tissues supporting teeth. Without early treatment, it can result in the total loss of soft bones and tissues. According to the National Institutes of Health, gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss. Not detecting and treating it early can worsen and permanently damage the teeth and gums.

Maintaining good oral health is crucial for your well-being. It helps prevent issues like gum disease, which causes physical discomfort and affects your appearance. Tayani Dental Group is committed to delivering exceptional dental care to patients in Fullerton, CA. If you or a loved one suffers from gum disease, contact our dental clinic for help.

Understanding Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a common oral infection. It develops when the tissues that support the gums and teeth get infected. The accumulation of plaque and bacteria causes this disease along the gum line. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily can help remove plaque before it causes problems. If plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar, which requires professional cleaning.

For individuals prone to gum disease or who have weak immune systems, their bodies respond poorly to plaque bacteria when they enter their bloodstream through inflamed gums. Excessive inflammation can damage the blood vessels over time.

Advanced stages of gum disease can cause teeth to shift away from the gums and loosen in the sockets until they fall out. Untreated periodontitis can increase the risk of developing heart disease and other health problems.

Phases of Periodontitis

The stages of gum disease range from mild inflammation of the gums to severe bone loss, causing tooth loss. The two main phases of gum disease include the following:


Gingivitis is the initial, non-destructive phase of gum disease. The gums are likely to turn red, get inflamed, and bleed while you brush your teeth. The condition could be so mild that you won’t even notice you have it. However, consistent tooth brushing, flossing, and good oral hygiene practices can treat gingivitis.

A dentist only needs to clean your gums to remove bacteria and plaque. However, if it is not properly treated, it will develop into periodontitis.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a more severe form of gum disease. It can be treated with more invasive treatment options. The condition occurs when plaque builds up in the gum line. Periodontal disease is more common in adults than in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about half of all individuals over the age of 30 suffer from gum disease. Over time, the tissues and bones supporting the teeth can disintegrate as the gums gradually deteriorate.

If left untreated, periodontitis can cause permanent damage to gums and teeth due to poor blood flow in advanced stages. The following shows how plaque causes periodontal disease:

  • Plaque Buildup On Teeth

Plaque accumulates on teeth when oral bacteria mix with dietary sugars and starches. While brushing and flossing can remove it, plaque will recur shortly after.

  • Gum Inflammation

The inflammation in the gums surrounding the teeth can create pockets filled with plaque between them. This results in a weakened immune system and tooth loss if left untreated. Failing to floss or brush your teeth makes the tartar harden below the gum line as plaque accumulates.

There are different types of periodontitis. The most common types include:

  1. Chronic periodontitis—this is mostly seen in adults. It slowly destroys the gums and bones holding teeth due to long-term plaque buildup. This condition is rare in children.
  2. Necrotizing periodontal disease—this type is severe as it destroys gum tissues, dental ligaments, and supporting bones. Poor blood flow to the gums can cause death of tissues. Necrotizing periodontal disease is mostly found in people with weakened immune systems.
  3. Aggressive periodontal disease—although not always the case, an aggressive periodontal disease normally begins during childhood and progresses into early adulthood. It normally runs in families and is considered hereditary. This type of periodontitis causes rapid bone loss and other dental problems.

Risk Factors for Gum Disease Development

The main cause of gum disease is plaque accumulation in the teeth. There are a few factors that can increase your likelihood of developing the condition:

Smoking or Chewing Tobacco

Individuals who smoke tend to have poor oral health, which makes it easier for bacteria to cause gum disease. Over time, smokers accumulate tartar more quickly than non-smokers due to decreased saliva flow. This creates gaps for bacteria and plaque to accumulate.

Although smokers’ gums bleed less often than non-smokers’, their oral cavities are still unhealthy. This leads them to believe their gums are fine, even though they're at higher risk of developing periodontitis.


Individuals with chronic illnesses like HIV or cancer are at a higher risk of developing gum disease as their immune system's ability to fight against infections is weakened. Also, there is a higher likelihood that patients with diabetes can develop dental issues like gum disease. This results from their bodies' inability to adequately control blood sugar.

Hormonal Imbalances

Since women experience more hormonal changes than men do, they’re more likely to develop gum disease. Increased blood flow to the mouth during puberty, monthly periods, pregnancy, and menopause makes gums more sensitive. This isn’t good because constant irritation can cause bleeding, and inflammation, thus leading to periodontal disease.


Regular dental appointments and healthy saliva contribute greatly to your oral health. Medications, such as over-the-counter drugs, can lead to dry mouth and bleeding gums. Acidic products, like aspirin, can corrode the teeth and gums. Syrups increase sugar levels in the mouth, creating an ideal bacterial growth environment.

Poor Dental Hygiene

Food particles mix with saliva in the mouth to form bacteria and cling to the teeth as a sticky film. You can easily remove the film by brushing and flossing daily, especially after meals. However, if you do not regularly clean your oral cavity, the film can build up and solidify into plaque.

Neglecting good oral hygiene practices, such as missing routine dental appointments and inadequate brushing, can lead to plaque turning into gingivitis and, ultimately, periodontitis.


The body is a fortress but can be easily undermined. Stress takes a sword to your immune system. One of the first things it eliminates is the body’s ability to fight infections. Gum disease, like many other health conditions, starts with an infection.

Family History

Regardless of good oral hygiene, gum disease can affect individuals with a genetic predisposition. Early detection and treatment can help ensure the genetic trait doesn’t cause dental issues in the future.

Obesity and a Poor Diet

The body’s immune system can face complications when deprived of essential nutrients. Nutrient deficiency makes it harder for the body to fight off diseases. The disease may worsen or recur if a patient is on a poor diet. Obese individuals are also more susceptible to developing gum disease.

Grinding or Clenching Your Teeth

Gum damage from teeth grinding or clenching increases the risk of bacterial infection and inflammation.

Crooked Teeth

When you have overlapping teeth, plaque can build up between the gaps created in the ligaments that connect your gums and teeth. Misaligned teeth can also cause bleeding gums during the early stages of periodontal disease.

Symptoms of Gum Disease to Look Out For

Generally, gum disease grows silently without causing any pain. However, that does not mean they don't have any symptoms. Several indicators can show you’re suffering from gum disease, such as the following:

  • Receding Gums

Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue around your teeth pulls back and separates from the tooth, exposing more of its root. This creates pockets where bacteria can thrive between your gums and teeth. It’s a common dental issue that gradually develops but could indicate periodontal disease.

  • Bad Breath

It's always unpleasant to have bad breath, especially if you have gum disease symptoms that are difficult to detect. While occasional bad breath could result from poor dental hygiene, it can signal a more serious problem, such as gum disease. The toxins released by bacteria inflame the gum tissues. This encourages plaque accumulation and bleeding gums.

  • Bleeding Gums

Your gums shouldn’t bleed during flossing or brushing. If they do, it could be an early symptom of periodontal disease. Plaque buildup can inflame and damage the gums. This causes them to bleed whenever you floss or brush your teeth. Moreover, they could become sensitive and turn red, which makes them more prone to damage.

  • Shifting or Loose Teeth

In young children, it is normal for their baby teeth to become loose and fall out to make room for adult ones. However, once you’ve got your permanent teeth, losing or misaligning them is not common. Plaque buildup can cause gum recession, creating pockets for bacteria to thrive. This could ultimately lead to gum infections.

As time passes, the bones and tissues supporting the teeth will start deteriorating. This can result in loose or displaced teeth. Changes in your bite can be a good sign.

  • Pus And Mouth Sores Between Your Teeth And Gums

A periodontal abscess is a collection of pus within the gum tissue. It appears as red bumps protruding from swollen and irritated gums and can cause severe pain, fever, and additional sores around the mouth. If someone has an abscess, it could indicate they have acute periodontal disease.

Treatment For Gum Disease

Gum disease can cause significant pain and discomfort. Periodontal disease treatment focuses on restoring healthy gum reattachment to the teeth. The treatment can also help to minimize swelling and the size of the gaps between the teeth and gums. Your overall health and the severity of your condition will determine the treatment method to use.

Home remedies are also available. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, flossing and brushing your teeth at least two times a day at home can lower your chance of developing periodontitis. However, these remedies can only help to alleviate the symptoms. It's crucial to see a dentist to successfully treat gum disease. Treatment options for this disease will vary from non-surgical treatments to surgical tissue restoration.

Non-Surgical Treatment

When you visit the dentist for your regular checkup, he or she will remove the tartar and plaque that accumulate on the teeth even after you brush. If you have any indications of periodontitis, your dentist will advise you and carry out a thorough cleaning. Unfortunately, this can't be used for the treatment of advanced gum disease.

You can also opt for scaling. This procedure involves deep cleaning and the removal of tartar from the gum line. The rough areas on the teeth are smoothed. By smoothing these areas, bacteria can be eliminated, and the surface becomes more suitable for the gums' reattachment to the teeth. If your dentist finds tartar buildup under your gum line, they will need to perform a scaling procedure to remove it.

For some people, scaling is unnecessary, and antibiotics can be used to treat the disease. The medications work by eliminating the bacteria that cause gum disease. This temporarily prevents the loss of teeth and gums.

Surgical Treatment

Surgery can be performed when the severity of the gum disease becomes severe. Flap surgery involves lifting the gums and removing the plaque buildup. Damaged bones are also smoothed out, so bacteria don't have as much room to grow. The gums are then repositioned to fit well around the affected tooth. That makes it harder for bacteria to hide, which lowers the risk of developing gum disease.

Another option is bone grafts, which use artificial bones to replace bones that have suffered harm from gum disease. The bone grafts serve as a foundation for bone development and restore the stability of your teeth.

Soft tissue grafts can help restore thinning gums by utilizing tissues from the roof of the oral cavity. Bone surgery helps smooth out the craters left by significant bone loss on the bones. Following flap surgery, the surrounding bone reshapes to reduce cavities and hinder the growth of bacteria that could cause gum disease.

Guided tissue regeneration is another surgical method used to treat serious gum disease. This surgery occurs when the supporting bones holding the teeth are damaged. Tissue regeneration will promote both tissue and bone growth. It is used in conjunction with a flap operation to prevent the growth of gum tissue where teeth should be.

If you have gum disease or notice any signs, you should see a dentist to prevent tooth loss. Most people can treat their periodontitis without the need for surgery. Surgery will be used when non-surgical techniques are not successful in repairing the tissues.

How To Prevent Gum Disease

Gingivitis can be treated, and the advancement of periodontitis can be stopped with appropriate plaque control. The following actions can help protect the gums from gum disease:

Get Your Teeth Cleaned

You can see your dentist for dental cleanings and examinations as often as once every six months to once a year. Generally, routine cleanings are sufficient if there are no family oral health problems. However, if you have a chronic condition, obesity, or a family history of gum disease, you should inform your dentist. This allows your dentist to adjust the treatment plan.

Maintaining proper oral hygiene entails keeping your teeth free of debris and clean. This keeps the gums feeling less sensitive, makes them appear pink, and maintains fresh breath. Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most effective methods to prevent gum disease. Daily brushing and flossing are advised since they can aid in removing tartar, which is the root cause of periodontal disease.

  • Avoid Smoking

Smoking tobacco or using tobacco products increases the risk of gum disease. Smokers are also more likely to develop these diseases than nonsmokers. If you already have gum disease, smoking will make it worse. So, quitting smoking can help improve the effectiveness of treatment for gum disease.

  • Eat a Balanced Diet

Maintaining general health, including healthy gums, is facilitated by eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet. Antioxidants in vegetables and fruits can help your body repair damaged tissues caused by infection.

Vitamin C aids in wound healing and increases the immune system, allowing the body to treat infections before progressing to serious gum disease. Avoiding sugary foods can help to maintain the proper balance of oral flora since disease-causing bacteria love sugar and carbohydrate residues that stick to teeth.

  • Avoid Stress

Stress impairs the immune system's ability to fight off infections. It slows down the healing process, which allows the infection to worsen and develop into periodontitis.

  • Avoid Teeth Grinding or Clenching

Continuous pressure on your gums caused by grinding or clenching your teeth can speed up gum recession. Damaged gums increase the risk of developing periodontitis.

Find A Fullerton Dental Clinic Near Me

If gum disease is left untreated, it can lead to significant pain and discomfort. It also affects your self-esteem due to bad breath. Most people are picky when it comes to maintaining good oral hygiene. Besides maintaining good oral and dental hygiene at home, you should seek advice from a professional dentist. Our dentists at Tayani Dental Group offer complete and affordable dental services if you seek gum disease treatment in Fullerton. Call us now at 949-741-0795 for all your dental needs.