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Gum disease is a serious problem that affects approximately fifty percent of American adults. The primary cause of gum disease is the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. As those substances accumulate, your gums begin to swell, allowing the plaque accumulate below the gumline.

Some of the symptoms of gum disease include loose teeth, chronic bad breath, receding gums, gums that are swollen, tender or red, and that bleed when you brush and floss. If left untreated, gum disease can result in lost teeth and a loss of mass in your jawbone. Since infection can enter your bloodstream through your gums, you may be at an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes complications and other health problems.

Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and seeing your dentist for your routine visits are the best ways to prevent gum disease. If you are already suffering from it, your dentist may suggest a change in your lifestyle, or your brushing and flossing routine. You may require medication or in some cases, surgery.

One way that your dentist can address gum disease is through a process known as scaling and root planing. This process takes two appointments, and may require a local anesthetic. In scaling, the dentist will use an instrument to remove any leftover plaque and tartar on your teeth, above and below the gumline. In the second appointment, your dentist will clean and smooth the roots of your teeth so that they can re-attach themselves to your jaw.

If you have noticed any of the symptoms of gum disease, you are concerned about it, or if it is just time for your regular cleaning or exam, Dr. Joseph N. Falco will be happy to see you. If you live in the Hopkinsville, Kentucky area, call 270-632-6404 to schedule an appointment at Pennyrile Family Dentistry.