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Like teeth, gums have to be well taking care of in order to prevent disease and infection.

One of the most common gum diseases is gingivitis. This is an inflammation of the gums usually cause by poor oral hygene and smoking. However, it can also be caused by a blood disorder or vitamin deficiency. The plaque between the teeth and the gums inflames the gums causing them to swell and bleed and leaving tiny pockets where food particles get trapped, causing more plaque build-up and infection. The area must be cleaned and the infection must be treated at once or else the condition may spread and become chronic. If the condition spreads, it is called periodontitis and this causes loss of fibres and ligaments which attach the teeth to the bone, then loss of bone which causes the teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.

Evidence shows that there is a genetic disposition to gum disease so although everyone must take proper dental care, those who have gum disease in their genes must be especially careful. Smoking is a great risk factor and should be avoided.

Efficient teeth cleaning and flossing temporarily gets rid of the acids that attack tooth enamel and will help prevent dental caries and the build-up of plaque that can lead to gingivitis. However, if you are vulnerable to disease of the periodontal tissues, it won't necessarily prevent you from developing it. Poor oral hygene and continuing to smoke will make any effective treatment virutally redundant. It is a good idea to have regular check-ups with your dentist and to follow a nutritious, balanced diet.