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Gum disease is one of the most common challenges to oral health. In fact, most people likely have some form of it right now. But since its initial stages are very often painless, many people may not even know they have a problem, or that it is very serious. But make no mistake: gum disease can cause serious damage to your smile and your entire mouth. Effective treatment is key to stopping it and restoring good oral health.

Gum disease begins as mild inflammation caused by built-up plaque under the gum line. While it can cause gums to easily bleed, it doesn’t usually cause pain. Over time, the infection can worsen and cause gums to pull away from teeth, forming pockets where bacteria gather. Eventually other tissues are affected and teeth can loosen and fall out.

But all this damage and the reconstructive oral surgery needed to repair it can be averted if gum disease is treated early. Two common non-surgical treatment options are scaling and root planing. Scaling is a deep cleaning method wherein plaque and tartar are removed from under the gum line, where they can accumulate in pockets. Root planing involves cleaning and smoothing tooth roots in order to remove any bacterial toxins and prevent future accumulation of plaque. These two treatments usually halt the progress of gum disease.

Having effective oral hygiene is key to prevent gum disease from happening in the future. Be sure to brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. To learn more about gum disease, its symptoms and treatment options, please call Dana Dental Arts in Spearfish, SD, today.