Gum Health Basics

The health of your gums has an intricate connection to your overall health. The condition of your gums, especially inflammation of the gums, has been suggested to be a trigger for inflammation in other places in the body. Keeping your gums clean and functioning properly is essential to being your healthiest self.

The gums are your smile’s foundation. No matter how much you care for your teeth, if you neglect your gums, you’re going 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 your teeth’ enamel and cause inflammation known as gingivitis or periodontitis.

Gingivitis can progress quickly into periodontitis if left untreated. In periodontitis, the bone supporting the tooth is destroyed and lost forever. This inflammatory reaction can also influence your overall health including an association with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and memory issues.

Gum diseases are usually caused by poor oral hygiene habits, but other factors can contribute too. Genetic influences and hormone imbalances also play a role in developing gum disease.

Wondering if you have the signs or symptoms of gum disease? Be on the lookout for these symptoms:

  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding, often when brushing
  • Extremely light or dark gum color
  • Gum recession


To keep your gums and teeth as healthy as possible:

  • Use a soft bristle, 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 during each brushing
  • Don’t skip the floss
  • Visit your hygienist regularly for a cleaning and evaluation


If you think you may have gum disease or just want to schedule a routine cleaning, call Tampa Bay’s premier dentistry clinic, 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 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.
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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...😁.
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