Gum Health Basics

Did you know that the health of your gums has an intricate connection to your overall health? Inflammation of the gums has been suggested to be a trigger for inflammation in other places in the body. Reducing or eliminating this trigger is essential to achieving your healthiest self.

The gum and jaw are your smile’s foundation. No matter how much you care for your teeth, if you neglect your gums, you are destined to have problems. 

So how exactly do you care for your gums? Well, it starts with daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque. If plaque is not removed from the teeth daily, it builds up and forms a hardened substance known as tartar. Tartar contains acid-producing bacteria that can eat away at the tooth enamel and cause gum disease.

If left untreated gingivitis(gum disease) can progress quickly into periodontitis (incurable gum and bone disease). In periodontitis, the bone supporting the tooth is destroyed and lost forever. This inflammatory reaction may influence your overall health including a suspected association with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and memory issues.

Gum disease is usually caused by poor oral hygiene habits, but other factors such as genetic influences and hormone imbalances can play a role.

Wondering if you might have gum disease? Be on the lookout for these symptoms:

  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding, often when brushing
  • Dark gum color around the teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Loose teeth


To keep your gums and teeth as healthy as possible:

  • Use a soft bristled, ADA-approved toothbrush
  • Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. If you have tooth sensitivity, use toothpaste specifically formulated to stop it.
  • Brush your teeth and gum line with small circular motions
  • Opt for an electric brush to remove over 20% more plaque than a manual brush
  • Don’t skip the floss
  • Visit your hygienist regularly for a cleaning and evaluation


To find out if you have gum disease or if you have other concerns and questions, call Tampa Bay’s premier dental office, Piper Family Dentistry. Dr. Piper and his team of dental experts can evaluate your oral health conditions, offer corrective treatments, and recommend home care to help prevent future issues. Call (727) 548-7100 or contact us online to set up your appointment today!


I've been a patient of Dr. Piper's for the last 19 years so it's very obvious that I've been a very very satisfied patient. I had an excellent full check-up today with x-rays and everything was perfect. Perfect because I've been going consistently and following their experts on dental care, cleaning and good health! Bravo 👏 👏 👏
Deborah M.

Dr. Piper and staff are always very professional, I have been a patient for over 15 years, and happy about it. Just got my teeth cleaned and checked recently, Sandra is friendly and thorough, and the office felt very clean which is important.
Tom T.

Staff were fast and attentive, didn't wait long before I saw Dr. Piper. The office is clean and organized. Was a great decision to use this practice and will be visiting again. Not a single issue. Cannot recommend enough.
Ted M.

Thank you Sandra, for my teeth cleaning....I had a great experience, I do love getting my teeth cleaned! Piper Family Dentistry rocks...😁.
Deborah W.
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