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What is Gingivitis?

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gumsYou might not think about gums much except when you jab them with a potato chip. Your gums are very important to your smile. Giving them the care they need will help keep your adult teeth from falling out.

If you don’t take care of your gums, they could develop gingivitis. Gums suffering from gingivitis get red, puffy, and bleed easily, especially when you’re brushing. Don’t stop brushing! But you may need to see your pediatric dentist to stop things before they get worse.

Gingivitis is caused by bacteria in your plaque. They irritate your gums, making them puffy and soft. If you don’t get this fixed, your gums will start to pull away from your teeth. This is called periodontitis. Bacteria can sneak into the gap left between the teeth and the gums where your brush and floss can’t get at them. Food and dirt can also slip down there, causing infection. Your gums and teeth will become a battleground where your body fights off disease.

This is bad news for your teeth and the bones they are anchored to. If it goes on long enough, your teeth will get holes under the gum line. The bone that’s supposed to hold them in place will weaken or even begin to shrink away. Eventually, your teeth could fall out!

Losing your baby teeth is natural and important. It makes room for your adult teeth to grow in. If you lose your adult teeth, no replacements will grow in. It’s important to take very good care of your teeth. That means also taking good care of your gums.

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