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Do you suspect that you have gum disease? You’re not the only one. 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States have been diagnosed with chronic periodontitis, and even more are in the initial stages of gum disease.

The main cause of gum disease is plaque–that sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth. Plaque can be eliminated through daily oral hygiene practices like brushing your teeth and flossing. If plaque isn’t cleaned away, it can harden into tartar, also called calculus, which can only be removed by your dentist.

Have you heard gum disease called different names like periodontitis, periodontal disease or gingivitis? Each word or phrase refers to the particular stage of gum disease.

The first phase of gum disease is called gingivitis. Symptoms include red, swollen and bleeding gums, sensitive teeth, pain when eating and halitosis. At this stage, your gum disease is still rescindable, since the bone and tissue holding the teeth in place are not yet contaminated.

Periodontitis or periodontal disease is gum disease in its later stages where the supporting bone and fibers are permanently damaged. In addition to the signs of gingivitis, periodontitis includes teeth feeling loose, changes in the bite, a change in the fit of partial dentures, and pus surrounding the teeth and gums.

The stage of your gum disease will determine the treatment Dr. Joseph N. Falco will recommend. Gingivitis can be reversed through meticulous oral hygiene and consistent dental cleanings. Periodontal disease may require scaling, root planing or gum surgery.

To learn more, you can call Pennyrile Family Dentistry in Hopkinsville, Kentucky at 270-632-6404. Dr. Joseph N. Falco and his amazing team can help you stop the progress of the disease in its tracks and return your smile to its former glory.