HEALTHY MOUTH HEALTHY BODY Resource Center | Learn how severe gum disease could increase certain health risks.
Healthy Mouth Healthy Body - Inflammation and Gum Disease

Did you know that over 75 percent of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of gum disease? It's more common than you think!

Gum Disease and Gingivitis — What are They?
Gum disease — also known as periodontal disease — is a form of inflammation and infection that occurs in the mouth. Gingivitis — an early phase of gum disease and the easiest to treat — is an inflammation of the gums caused by the accumulation of plaque, a soft, sticky, colorless film of bacteria above the gumline.

Plaque provides a shelter for over 400 species of bacteria and other microorganisms to grow and proliferate. If not routinely removed by proper brushing and flossing, plaque can build up on teeth and gums and lead to gingivitis. Fortunately, gingivitis can be treated, which can help prevent it from developing into periodontitis**, a more serious and damaging stage of gum disease.

How Do I Know if I Have Gingivitis?
Classic signs of gingivitis include red, swollen and tender gums that may bleed when you brush. It is important to remember that only a dental professional can thoroughly assess your dental health and determine whether you have gum disease, including gingivitis. Since some symptoms of gingivitis are not painful, the disease may remain untreated for many years unless diagnosed by a dental professional.

Signs of periodontitis**, a more advanced stage of chronic gum disease, include the presence of gum ulceration, gums that have receded or pulled away from your teeth, permanent teeth that are loose or separating, any change in the fit of your teeth when biting, any change in the fit of partial dentures, and recurring bad breath and/or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Regular visits to your dental professional can help to prevent periodontitis** from developing.

How Can I Help Prevent Gingivitis?
The key to preventing gingivitis is to remove the plaque and bacteria that accumulate on your teeth. Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are extremely important. Good at-home oral hygiene is also crucial.

You can help stop gingivitis before it develops by:

  • Brushing and flossing to remove plaque and debris - learn more with our interactive brushing guide
  • Eating right to ensure proper nutrition for your jawbone and teeth
  • Avoiding cigarettes and other forms of tobacco
  • Scheduling regular checkups with your dentist

You can help protect yourself against gingivitis by brushing with Colgate Total®. It has a patented formula that attaches to teeth to form a 12-hour protective shield that is clinically proven to help reduce gingivitis. Studies show that Colgate Total® reduces gingivitis more effectively than regular fluoride toothpaste. For more information on gum disease and your oral health, click on the link above.

Colgate® Total - The most Advanced toothpaste from Colgate® for your Superior Oral Health

* The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs' Acceptance of Colgate Total® toothpaste is based on its finding that the product is effective in helping to prevent and reduce tooth decay, gingivitis, plaque above the gumline and bad breath when used as directed.

** Colgate Total® is approved by the FDA to aid in the prevention of cavities, plaque and gingivitis. It has not been approved for the prevention or treatment of periodontitis or other diseases. Emerging research shows that there is an association between periodontitis and certain systemic diseases. A cause and effect relationship has not been established.