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Do you think you might have gum disease? You’re not alone. 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States have chronic periodontitis and even more are in the initial stages of gum disease.

The chief cause of gum disease is plaque. This refers to that sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth from the bacteria in your mouth. Plaque can be eliminated through daily oral hygiene practices. Otherwise it hardens into tartar–also called calculus–which can only be removed by your dentist.

You may have heard or read about gum disease using different names–periodontitis, periodontal disease or gingivitis. Each word or phrase refer to the particular stage of gum disease.

The first phase of gum disease is called gingivitis. Symptoms are comprised of red, swollen and bleeding gums, sensitive teeth, pain when eating and halitosis. At this stage, gum disease is still alterable, since the bone and tissue most vital to rooting the teeth in your gums are not yet infected.

Periodontitis or periodontal disease denotes gum disease in its later stages, where sustaining 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 phase of your gum disease will determine the treatment Dr. Robert Farber will endorse. Gingivitis can be overturned through careful and consistent oral hygiene and diligent dental appointments. Periodontal disease will likely require scaling, root planing or gum surgery.

To learn more, simply ring Dearborn West Dental in Dearborn, Michigan at 313-562-5610. Dr. Robert Farber and his excellent team can give you all the help you need to return your smile back to glowing health.