How Well Are Your Teeth Protected From Gum Disease?

We have all heard about gum disease since we were kids. Parents, teachers, and dentists all told us, “You better brush your teeth or you may get gum disease.”  Periodontitis—gum disease—affects millions of Americans every year. In fact, many people who develop gum disease and are unaware of the problem in its early stages. There are easy ways to prevent Periodontitis and signs to be aware of, but how well do you know gum disease? We put together a quiz to test your knowledge.


1.   What is the cause of Periodontitis?

a.  Food poisoning.

b.  A bacterial infection in your gums.

c.  Global warming.

2.  Which of these daily activities can lead to gum disease?

a.  Smoking.

b.  Talking on your cell phone.

c.  Using mouthwash.

3.  True or False? Periodontitis treatment is quick and easy?

a.  True.

b.  False.

4.  Which is an easy step you can take to prevent gum disease?

a.  Brush and Floss every day.

b.  Eat healthy foods.

c.  Visit your dentist twice a year.


  1. B.  Periodontitis is an infection that happens when your gums begin to separate from your teeth. Bacteria invade these spots and infection occurs.
  2. A.  Smoking is a bad habit that can attribute to gum disease. In fact, treatments of periodontitis have shown to be less affective for smokers compared to nonsmokers.
  3. B.  False! Treatment for Periodontitis is a long process that is by no means easy. Gum disease eats away at your gums and your gums will not grow back. Periodontitis can be removed surgically but your mouth will never be the same.
  4. All of the above. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day can drastically reduce your risk of gum disease. These actions remove the plaque that builds up on your teeth and causes bacterial infections in your gums. Eating healthier increases the health of your teeth and gums with the right vitamins and minerals like foods high in calcium, vitamins B, C, and D, and iron. Visiting Dr. Burds twice a year allows for a professional look inside your mouth to see if any problems have occurred, and receiving a professional cleaning allows Dr. Burds’ team to remove tartar, hardened plaque that cannot be reached with your toothbrush.

If you have any questions regarding periodontitis or would like to schedule an appointment for a teeth cleaning or other service, contact Dr. Stephen J. Burds and our team at Gateway Dental Group by calling (515) 244-9565. We are located in Des Moines, IA, and serve patients in all of the surrounding communities.