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Many adults in the United States have gum disease. Although it may be painless at first, if it is not treated, you can lose your teeth along with the mass in your jaw. There can also be serious complications for other systems in your body such as your respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

Some of the symptoms of gum disease include swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. Healthy gums are pink in color, and red gums are a sign that you could have gum disease. Loose teeth, chronic bad breath, receding gums and sensitive teeth are also indicators.

Although there are different causes of gum disease, the most prevalent cause is a buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. As these substances increase, your gums swell and the plaque then works its way below your gumline. This will allow bacteria to enter your body through your gums and cause an infection.

One way that your dentist can combat gum disease is through two processes, called scaling and root planing.  Often, two appointments are needed, and a local anesthetic may be required. In scaling, your dentist will use an instrument to scrape the plaque from your teeth, above and below the gumline. During the root planning process, your dentist will clean and smooth the roots of your tooth so that they can re-attach themselves to your jaw.

If you gum disease has become a problem for you, or if you would like to have your gums checked, our dentist, Dr. Mark Berard can help. If you live in the Holland, Michigan area, and would like to make an appointment at Mark D. Berard, DDS, call 616-392-2853. We’re looking forward to helping you get on the road to a happy, healthy mouth.