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While you may know that gum disease can give you bad breath and loose teeth, you may not know that it can also lead to complications with diabetes, as well as respiratory infections, heart attack, stroke and even dementia. The primary cause of gum disease is the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth, which is one of the reasons why brushing and flossing is so important. To treat your gum disease, your dentist may want you to spend more time on your oral hygiene regimen, or make some changes in your lifestyle, such as quitting smoking. Your dentist may need to give a prescription medication; or surgery may be required in some cases.

One way that your dentist can address your gum disease is through a two-step process known as scaling and root planing. In scaling, your dentist will use a tool to remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth, both above and below the gumline. Then, usually during a second appointment, the dentist will clean and smooth the roots of your teeth so that they can maintain a healthy attachment to your jaw. A local anesthetic may be needed during the procedure.

The best treatment for gum disease is prevention. That means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day. You should see your dentist for your routine cleanings and exams, Your dentist will be able to remove the plaque and tartar you may have missed while brushing, and can check your mouth for signs of gum disease and other problems.

Swollen, tender and bleeding gums are signs of gum disease. If you gums are red, or you have chronic bad breath or loose teeth, you should talk with our dentist, Dr. Karl Schneck about your symptoms. If you are concerned about gum disease, or if it is time for you regular appointment, call 541-779-4344 today to schedule an appointment at Karl E. Schneck, DDS, PC in Medford, Oregon.