Bullhead City Dentistry

When Should You See a Dentist for Your Gums?

February 14, 2024
5 Min Read
When Should You See a Dentist for Your Gums?

Why should teeth get all the fame?

Since the beginning, teeth have taken center stage in oral health, while their close cousins, the gums, have occupied a somewhat secondary role. Gums are just as important as teeth but are easier to overlook. 

Many Americans develop gum disease and gum-related problems as they age. Maintaining good oral health includes taking care of your teeth and requires you to pay attention to your gums. 

Gum disease is a common occurrence in many people, and the dangerous thing about gum complications is that the early stages are pretty painless: you won't know you have any disease in your mouth until it's too late.

But it's early symptoms that you can identify to avoid more serious problems by scheduling an appointment with a good dentist in Bullhead City, AZ.

Diseases that can affect your gums

Your gums are the mucous tissue that covers your jaw and holds your teeth in place. When healthy and properly intact, they provide a protective barrier for the jawbone and tooth roots against food and bacteria. 

Without good hygiene and proper care, gums can become diseased, and so can your teeth. Some of the diseases that can affect them are: 

Gum disease

Plaque buildup around the gum lining can cause several problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Signs of gum disease include red and swollen gums, bone loss, loose teeth, and bleeding gums. 


The first stage of periodontal disease is inflammation of the gums or gingivitis. It begins when plaque forms near or under the gums. When the gums are damaged by the presence of bacteria and an acidic environment, the body's defense is to send more blood to the gums to fight the bacteria. In turn, the gums darken from pink to red. They swell and bleed more easily. 

Unfortunately, people with gingivitis only have discomfort when they brush or floss their teeth, so they too often adopt poor hygiene habits instead of seeking dental help.


The disease is called periodontitis, which affects the connective tissue and progresses to the bone. Once bacteria become established under the gums, they damage the tissue enough to invade the space where the gums were once connected to the teeth. 

Over time, a pocket can become deep enough that bacteria begin to attack the bone that supports the teeth. Too often, if people with periodontitis do not have regular checkups, they will not know something is wrong until so much connective tissue and bone is destroyed that one or more teeth become loose.


Diastema refers to a gap or space between teeth. Gaps can occur anywhere in the mouth but are most common between the two front teeth. This condition is generally a cosmetic concern affecting adults and children and is related to gum disease. 

Some gaps are small and barely noticeable, while others are larger and pose a cosmetic problem for some people. If you do not like the appearance of the gap, there are ways to close it or reduce its size. Treatments for diastemas include dental bonding, porcelain veneers, and braces.

Diastemas developed from gum disease originate because inflammation damages the gums and the tissue that supports the teeth. This can lead to tooth loss and gaps between teeth. 

Gum Recession

There are two types of gum tissues that surround the tooth. The tooth neck is firmly attached to the tooth and underlying bone and is called the attached gingiva. 

Typically the attached gingiva is wide and strong enough to act as a barrier, which prevents the gum from being pulled down (receding). But some people are born without sufficient attached gingiva to prevent the muscle in the alveolar mucosa from pulling the gum down. 

In these cases, the gum slowly recurs over time, even though the patient may be very conscientious about oral health. This is not an infection, seen with periodontal disease, but rather simply an anatomic condition. 

Unfortunately, bone recession occurs at the same time the gum is receding. This is because the bone, just under the gum, will not allow itself to become exposed to the oral cavity and moves down with the gum.

Labial frenum

A lack of attached gingiva is sometimes associated with a high frenum attachment, which exaggerates the pull on the gum margin. A frenum is a naturally occurring muscle attachment commonly seen between the front teeth, the upper lip, and the upper gum, and between the lower lip and the lower gum. 

These problems can alter the way teeth grow and affect your dental health if it pulls the gum away from a tooth, exposing the root. It is normal to have a frenum, but it should not remove from the gum margin, or recession will occur.

The Restorative Dentistry You're Looking For in Phoenix, AZ

At Bullhead City Dentistry, we take the health of our patients very seriously. Our holistic approach to dentistry ensures that your treatment utilizes the least toxic materials, the most advanced technology, and a supportive environment you would never expect to find in a dental office.

Because gum disease is generally painless, regular dental checkups are necessary to detect it. Most people with healthy teeth and gums need an exam for periodontal disease every six months, and it is performed at the same time as your regular dental checkup.

So if you want more information about your gums and improving your oral health, schedule a consultation by visiting our website. Your smile will thank you.

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