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Did you know that 47% of Americans over 30 have periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease? That number jumps to 70% in people 65 and over. Gum disease is one of the most common and widespread health problems in this country. It is important to know the signs of gum disease in order to keep your mouth healthy.

Gum disease is primarily caused by built-up plaque on and around the teeth. Bacteria in the plaque cause an inflammatory infection in gum tissue. Over time, the infection can spread throughout the gums, down into connective tissue and the jaw bone. Eventually teeth can loosen and fall out, and other damage caused can be irreparable.

But this whole process begins with just a little mild redness and swelling. Early gum disease is not characterized by pain, so many people think they have nothing to worry about. Even when gums start to bleed when they brush, they may just think they are brushing too hard. But in reality, the infection is setting in and starting to do its work.

Once gums start to recede, action needs to be taken immediately in order to prevent lasting damage. Deep cleaning treatments including scaling and root planing might be called for. These remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line and smooth the surface of tooth roots to prevent the future accumulation of bacteria.

If you would like to learn more about gum disease, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options, please call Davidson Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Davidson, NC, today.