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Gum disease affects about half of the adults in the United States. Because it is often painless in the early stages, you may not even know you have it. Often, your dentist will be the first person to notice that you have gum disease.

The primary cause of gum disease is dental plaque. As plaque accumulates on the surface of your teeth, your gums react by swelling. That swelling allows more plaque to collect below the gum line. That in turn gives the bacteria in your mouth access to the rest of your body.

Aside from loose or lost teeth and problems with your jaw, gum disease can cause other problems for your body. For example, gum disease can contribute to clogged arteries and may be linked to heart disease. Problems with your arteries can increase your risk of stroke. The bacteria from gum disease can cause respiratory problems, aggravate diabetes, and could also lead to premature birth.

The signs of gum disease include tender or swollen gums, and gums that bleed when you brush or floss. Healthy gum tissue is pink in color. If your gums are red or turning blue, gum disease may be present.

If our dentist, Dr. Mark Warner finds gum disease during your exam, he may recommend a number of ways to treat it. You may need to step up your oral hygiene routine, or the problem might be addressed with a deep cleaning. Of course, the best way to fight gum disease is to brush twice a day, floss once a day, and to see your dentist for your regular appointments.

If you have noticed the signs of gum disease, or if it is just time for your routine cleaning and exam, we would love to see you. If you live in the Oak Creek, Wisconsin area and would like to make an appointment at Southshore Dental Group - Oak Creek, call (414) 571-6387 today.