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One of the dangers of gum disease is that in many cases, it can be painless. Because of that, a person may not be aware that they have it. You may have noticed that your gums may be swollen or bleed when you brush and floss. Your teeth may feel loose, or you may have chronic bad breath. Or, your dentist may notice the signs of gum disease before you experience any symptoms.

If your gum disease is in the earliest stages, the dentist may suggest some changes to your hygiene regimen or personal habits, or prescribe a medication. Gum disease may be reversed by scaling and root planing. Scaling involves the dentist removing the plaque from your teeth above and below the gumline. In root planing, the dentist will clean and smooth the roots of your teeth so that they can re-attach themselves to your jaw.

If your gums have receded, or moved away from your teeth, you may require a soft-tissue graft; or flap surgery in which the gums are pulled back, the tartar is removed and the gums are secured around the teeth. Another treatment is called pinhole surgery, which involves using existing gum tissue to cover the exposed roots of the teeth.

Ultimately, the best treatment for gum disease is to address it before it sets in. The primary cause of gum disease is the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. You can fight plaque buy brushing at least twice a day for two minutes with a toothpaste containing fluoride, and by flossing before you go to bed. Seeing your dentist for your regular cleanings and exams will give your dentist the chance to remove any plaque left over from brushing, remove the tartar from your teeth, and to check for gum disease.

If you are concerned about your gums or any other aspect of your oral health, it is time for a visit with our dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Lowe. If you live in the Hays, Kansas area, you can make an appointment at Lifetime Dental Care by calling 785-261-0221.