The American Dental Association recommends brushing and flossing for good reason: when plaque is left on your teeth, it hardens into tartar. The resulting bacteria causes gum irritation, which results in tenderness, swelling, or bleeding while brushing, flossing, or even eating. These symptoms are usually indicative of the first stage of gum disease, gingivitis.
To avoid the pain and tooth loss associated with gum disease, it is necessary to see your dentist for scaling and root planing treatments. This treatment can only be completed by a professional and is the first step in preventing your gingivitis from developing into periodontitis.