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If you want a healthy mouth, you must take care of your gums. We normally talk about brushing and flossing for healthy teeth–but they are also a key to preventing gum disease.

Periodontal disease (gum disease) is caused by a buildup of plaque on teeth. Plaque is a sticky film made of living bacteria. The bacteria not only eat away at teeth, but they can also infect the gum tissue, resulting in gum disease.

There are many signs and symptoms that could indicate periodontal disease. Some of these include: any change in your bite pattern or the fit of dentures, permanent teeth which are loose or separating, persistent bad breath, gums that have pulled away from teeth, red, swollen, or tender gums, or gums that bleed easily.

To combat gum disease, you must brush your teeth and gums twice a day. This should take 2 minutes each time. Use a very soft-bristled toothbrush in order to protect your tooth enamel and gum tissues. Flossing is equally important–flossing cleans the plaque from between teeth and behind the back molars. Both are excellent breeding grounds for bacteria that cause gum disease.

For more information, call OC Advanced Periodontics in Tustin, California, at 714-795-3117. Your periodontist, Dr. Patrick L. Huston, DDS, MSD, and our whole team look forward to helping your smile get healthy!