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If you have gum disease, you're not alone. Many U.S. adults currently have some form of the disease. It ranges from simple gum inflammation, called gingivitis, to serious damage to the tissue and bone supporting the teeth. In the worst cases, you can lose teeth.
In gingivitis, the gums become red and swollen. They can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. You can usually reverse it with daily brushing and flossing and regular cleanings by a dentist or dental hygienist. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. If you have periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected. If not treated, the bones, gums and connective tissue that support the teeth are destroyed.
NIH: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
- Ask a Periodontist (Frequently Asked Questions about Gum Disease) (American Academy of Periodontology)
- Gum Disease Symptoms (American Academy of Periodontology)
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Mind Your Mouth: Preventing Gum Disease (National Institutes of Health)
- Diabetes, Gum Disease, and Other Dental Problems (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in Spanish
- Peri-Implant Diseases (American Academy of Periodontology)
- Periodontal Disease and Systemic Health (American Academy of Periodontology)
- Prevention of Infective (Bacterial) Endocarditis: Wallet Card (American Heart Association) - PDF
- Gingivitis (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Statistics and Research
- FastStats: Oral and Dental Health (National Center for Health Statistics)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: The Efficacy of Adjunctive Aids in Periodontal Maintenance Therapy: A Systematic...
- Article: Sodium Hypochlorite as an Adjunct to Nonsurgical Treatment of Periodontitis: A...
- Article: Evaluation of the efficacy of a commercially available regimen vs brushing...
- Gum Disease -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Find a Periodontist (American Academy of Periodontology)
- Find a Surgeon (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons)
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research Also in Spanish
- Gum Disease and Men (American Academy of Periodontology)
- Gum Disease and Women (American Academy of Periodontology)