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When you think about a vibrant, healthy smile, you probably think about your teeth. And truthfully, healthy teeth are an integral part of oral health. But there are other elements that can sometimes get overlooked. One of these is your gums.

Gums play an essential role in oral health, supporting and protecting teeth and other tissues. Even though they are a first line of defense, they are quite sensitive and vulnerable if not properly cared for. When they become infected, the consequences can spread through your mouth and entire body. You should do everything you can to avoid gum disease.

Sadly, most people in this country probably have some form of gum disease. Nearly half of people over 30 have periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. One reason it is so common is that gum disease does not usually cause pain or discomfort. Initially, signs mostly include inflammation, redness, and easy bleeding. But these indicate a serious infection that can spread. As it does, gums recede and pull away from teeth, leaving roots vulnerable. The infection can spread to the bone and connective tissue that keep teeth in place. They can ultimately loosen and fall out.

Given its seriousness, you should take every precaution you can by optimizing your oral hygiene habits. Brushing and flossing remove the bacteria-filled plaque that lead to gum infection and disease. While early gum disease is often reversible by home care, advanced gum disease must be treated in-office with more drastic procedures.

To learn more about gum disease, as well as the gum treatments we offer at Acre Wood Dental, please call our Waco, TX, office today. Dr. Benjamin Johnson is anxious to work with you.