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You may have gum disease and not know it. Gum disease is often painless in the initial stages, and you might not know that you have a problem until you notice that your gums are tender, bleeding or swollen, or have begun to turn red. You may also experience bad breath and loose teeth.

Gum disease is primarily caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. As the plaque increases, your gums begin to swell and more plaque starts to accumulate below your gumline. This will allow bacteria to enter your body. The results can be anything from loose teeth to a loss of mass in your jawbone, to heart and respiratory problems.

Your dentist may suggest that you improve your brushing and flossing routine, or you may need medication or a medical procedure. However, your dentist might be able to combat gum disease with two processes known as scaling and root planing. In scaling, the dentist will use an instrument to remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth above and below the gumline. In the second procedure known as root planing, the dentist will clean and smooth the roots of your tooth.

Of course, the best way to fight gum disease is to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day. It’s also important to see your dentist twice a year for your cleanings and exams. Your dentist can remove any plaque that you didn’t get with your toothbrush, and can check for the early onset gum disease.

If you are concerned about gum disease, or if it is time for your regular checkup, come in for a visit. To make an appointment with Dr. Brian Frandsen at Frandsen Dental in Grantsville, Utah, call 435-884-3002 today.