By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
June 24, 2019
Category: Oral Health

GumsAre you noticing that your gums have started to bleed rather frequently whenever you brush or floss? If you said “yes” we know that this issue can be a little alarming; however, it could be your gum’s way of telling you that something isn’t right. Learn more about gum disease, the telltale symptoms and when to see our Marion, AR, family dentist Dr. Wayne Cook.

What are the different stages of gum disease?

There are three distinct stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

Gingivitis is the earliest stage, which is characterized by the development of gum inflammation dues to tartar buildup. When plaque isn’t properly removed during brushing and flossing it can harden into tartar, which can’t be removed with your regular toothbrush; however, our Marion, AR, family dentist has the tools to remove tartar and plaque during routine cleanings.

If gingivitis is detected during a routine cleaning the good news is that with proper lifestyle changes and improved oral hygiene you can actually reverse this disease; however, if gingivitis isn’t detected and treated it will progress into periodontitis. Periodontitis is when infected pockets form in the spaces between the gums and the teeth, affecting how the gums support teeth.

Advanced periodontitis is the last stage of gum disease and this is when the infected pockets have grown so extensively that the gums can no longer fully support the teeth, causing loose teeth or tooth loss. This can also affect the health of the jawbone.

What are the warning signs of gum disease?

Gum disease doesn’t always cause symptoms. This is why everyone, no matter how healthy you think your smile is, should visit their dentist every six months for cleanings; however, you should schedule an immediate appointment if you notice any of these issues:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Puffy, swollen gums
  • Gums that are tender to the touch
  • Receding gums or gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Changes in your bite or how your dentures fit together
  • Loose teeth

How can you prevent gum disease?

Fortunately, with a healthy lifestyle you can easily prevent gum disease. These gum-healthy habits include:

  • Brushing twice a day
  • Flossing once a day
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet that is low in sugar
  • Avoiding or quitting tobacco
  • Visiting your family dentist twice a year

No matter whether you are dealing with dental issues or you just need to schedule your next cleaning, don’t hesitate to call our Marion, AR, dental practice today to book an appointment or to learn more about the different dental services we offer.


Marion, AR Family Dentist
Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
303 Bancario Rd.Suite 7
Marion, AR 72364
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