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Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, poses a serious threat to your oral health, and can even influence other medical conditions. While there are several factors that increase your chances of developing gum disease it is primarily caused by hardened tartar at the gum line. This tartar buildup happens when residual food particle and plaque are not removed as part of your twice-daily oral hygiene routine.

The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Common symptoms include red or inflamed gums that bleed easily during brushing and flossing as well as chronic issues with bad breath.

Left unchecked gingivitis can develop into the more advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis. This advanced form of gum disease poses serious dangers to your oral health and can even impact other medical conditions.

Over time, periodontitis can cause your gums to recede from the base of your teeth, allowing pockets of infection to form deep within the gum tissues. Left unchecked, it can even cause a loss of structure in the bones that anchor your teeth.

Periodontitis can also cause systemic inflammation that can impact your immune system. Recent research has found a relationship between systemic inflammation caused by gum disease and other. medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease and certain even types of cancer. While gum disease does not cause these conditions, the inflammation might enhance certain symptoms and impact your treatment options.

If you have questions about periodontitis, or you are concerned that you might have developed gum disease, please feel free to call Kaitilin Riley DDS at 805-238-3880 so we can help you explore your treatment options.