Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums in your mouth. Proper brushing, flossing and seeing your dentist and dental hygienist every six months for a dental cleaning will treat or prevent gingivitis from occurring. Periodontitis is destruction of the bone under the gums due to buildup of calculus (tartar) and caused by a colonization of a destructive type of bacteria. This is due to lack of (or improper) brushing, flossing, and a failure to have your dentist or dental hygienist remove the calculus on a three-to-six month basis. Some reports detail that the destructive bacteria can be transmitted through kissing or an infected person’s toothbrush. Here again, the solution is keep your regularly scheduled dental hygiene appointments. Oral cancer can occur on the tongue, gums, cheeks, roof of the mouth, and throat. Increased risk to get oral cancer has been attributed to the Papilloma virus, smokeless tobacco, alcohol and cigarette use, cigars, and ill-fitting dentures or partial dentures. At every dental hygiene appointment, we do a gum diseases and oral cancer screening. We welcome new patients, so even if it’s been a long time since you’ve seen a dentist, call 301-258-1998 to schedule an appointment so we can help you get back on track.