National Gum Care Month

September is National Gum Care Month and we’re making it our mission to help educate our community about gum health. Do you know the warning signs of gum disease? Do you have a proper dental hygiene routine? We have compiled a list of what you need to know.

child in dental chair

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is an infection of the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth.[1] Gum disease is typically caused by untreated plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.


  • A mild form of gum disease
  • It can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, as well as a regular cleaning by a dentist.[1]
  • Symptoms include:
    • Red, swollen or tender gums[2]
    • Gums that bleed easily[1]
    • Sensitive teeth[2]

Periodontal Disease

  • Usually a result of untreated gingivitis[2]
  • In this advanced stage, gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that harbor infection.[2] The body’s natural reaction to fight this infection is to break down the bone and tissue that hold the teeth steady.
  • Symptoms include:
    • Loose teeth[2]
    • Painful chewing[2]
    • Receding gums[2]

How do I properly care for my gums?

Sticking to a regular dental hygiene routine can help prevent or minimize the effects of gum disease. Your routine should include:

  • Brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing once a day[1]
  • Eating a balanced diet[2]
  • Scheduling regular dental visits (at least two a year)[1]

TruAssure-Image_4775acc9-c2a5-4f3a-a687-b60535235380 VBA dental plans are administered and underwritten by TruAssure and are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the United Concordia, DenteMax and Connection dental networks in all states but North Carolina, where the DenteMax Plus network arrangement includes DenteMax and Connection dental networks.

[1] "Gum Disease." Mouth Healthy. American Dental Association, n.d. Web. 4 Aug. 2016.

[2] "Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments." NIH. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Sept. 2013. Web. 4 Aug. 2016.

The information contained above is intended to be educational in nature, does not constitute medical advice, and should not be relied on as a substitute for actual professional medical advice, care or treatment. If you have any vision, dental or other health related concerns, VBA encourages you to immediately contact your optometrist/ophthalmologist, dentist/orthodontist or any other competent, licensed, medical professional.