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Healthy gums are so much more important than most people realize. You may know that gum disease can cause loose teeth, bad breath and even problems with your jaw. But did you also know that if you leave gum disease untreated, the bacteria can enter your respiratory tract, your blood stream and even your nervous system? In fact, gum disease can lead to respiratory infections, heart attack, stroke, and dementia.

The biggest cause of gum disease is an accumulation of plaque and tartar on your teeth. When that happens, your gums react by swelling, which then allows the plaque to build up beneath the gumline. At that point, bacteria has access to your body. Although it is often painless in the early stages, gum disease may become painful as it progresses. Other symptoms include red, swollen and tender gums, gums that bleed when you brush and floss, loose teeth and chronic halitosis or bad breath.

Prevention is the best way to fight gum disease. You should brush twice a day for two minutes at time with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss at least once a day. You should also see your dentist for your regular cleanings and exams. During your visit, the dentist can remove the plaque you may have missed, and check your for problems such as gum disease. If necessary, your dentist can also give you a deep cleaning. This a two-step process which is also called scaling and root planing. This involves the dentist removing the plaque from your teeth above and below the gumline, and cleaning and smoothing the roots of your teeth.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of gum disease, or would just like a cleaning and exam from our dentist, Dr. Steven Driggers, you can call 317-271-1330 to make an appointment at Sonshine Family Dental in Avon, Indiana. We look forward to seeing you soon!