Your Gum Disease FAQs

smilethumbsupYou may hear us speaking enthusiastically about your six-month visits and how dental cleanings help prevent gum disease. This does not mean, however, that you consider yourself someone who may become affected by gum inflammation. In fact, you may not really know what this disease is or why it occurs. Because preventing this problem is simple and because every single patient’s smile is vulnerable to developing periodontal disease, we encourage you to learn more about it, so you may protect your smile for many years to come.

FAQs About Gum Disease

Question: What is gum disease?

Answer: Also called periodontal disease, it is the inflammation and infection of your gum tissue. It is most often caused by plaque that remains on your teeth and migrates beneath your gumline. Plaque is full of bacteria, which release acids while they are in your mouth. The acids may wear away tooth tissue and may also irritate your gum tissue, while infection forms.

Question: Can you cure it?

Answer: Gum disease begins, in its earliest stage, as a reversible problem called gingivitis. At this phase of the disease, we may cure your the disease with a deep cleaning and special medicine to clear the bacterial infection. However, ignoring gingivitis may result in full-blown gum disease, which we can treat and control, but that we cannot cure.

Question: What happens if I avoid treatment?

Answer: The infection will continue to spread when untreated, potentially extending into supportive tissues like connective tissue, ligaments, and your jawbone. Your gums may pull away from your teeth, resulting in “pockets” that will require surgery. Periodontal disease may also lead to tooth loss and jawbone deterioration in severe cases.

Question: Can I prevent it?

Answer: Yes, removing plaque from your teeth is simple and effective. You can achieve this by brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing once a day, and visiting us for twice-annual dental cleanings and checkups.


For over 15 years, Dr. Michele Collier and the talented professionals at Waterstone Family Dentistry have provided comfortable, compassionate dental care to patients of all ages from Fuquay Varina, NC, as well as Holly Springs, Angier, Willow Springs, Raleigh, and all surrounding communities. If you’d like to learn more, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Collier by calling (919) 557-5250 today.

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