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The earliest stage of gum disease is referred to as gingivitis. The primary cause of gum disease is the presence of plaque on your teeth. If the plaque is not removed by brushing, flossing and regular cleanings by your dentist, it can build up. Plaque contains bacteria that will cause your gums to become inflamed and pull away from your teeth. That allows plaque to develop below the gumline where you can’t reach it with your toothbrush, dental floss or even a dental rinse. You may not even be aware that you have gum disease, but some symptoms include red, bleeding, swollen and tender gums, loose teeth, and pain.

While plaque is the cause of gum disease, other factors include tobacco use, pregnancy, diabetes, some medications, and in particular, poor dental hygiene habits.

If your gum disease is still in the early stages, your dentist can perform a deep cleaning or what is known as scaling and root planing. When the dentist scales your teeth, he uses an instrument to scrape the plaque and the tartar from your teeth above and below the gumline. After that is complete, he will smooth out the roots of the tooth so that they can reattach your teeth to your gums.

The earlier gum disease is detected, the easier it is to treat. The best way to catch gum disease in its early stages is through your regular dental exam. If you are experiencing problems with your teeth or gums or if it is just time for your cleaning and examination, our dentist, Dr. Marcus Lopez would love to see you. To make an appointment at Trecker and Lopez Family Dentistry in Springfield, Massachusetts, contact us at 413-782-5159. We look forward to seeing you soon!