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Did you know that nearly half of American over 30 have some serious form of gum disease? In people over 65, that number jumps to 70% Even worse, many of those people either don’t know they have a problem or don’t think it is as serious as it really is. But gum disease is a major threat to oral health and overall wellness.

Gum disease starts with plaque in the mouth. It is home to bacteria, which can infect the gums. This infection is initially fairly minor, causing inflammation, redness, and occasional bleeding while brushing or flossing. But because there is no pain, many people assume there is not really a problem. However, if left untreated this small infection can spread through deeper tissues down to the jaw bone, causing destruction of gum material and possible tooth loss.

While all people can get gum disease, there are some conditions that increase risk. Existing health conditions, such as diabetes, excessive stress, or tooth clenching can up the odds of gum disease. If you have a family history of gum disease or are pregnant you are also more likely to get it. And tobacco use, as it does with many other things, increases one’s risk for gum disease.

The good news is that effective oral hygiene can prevent the onset of gum disease. Brush twice a day, floss once daily, and rinse with water after eating to reduce the build-up of plaque.

If you would like to learn more about gum disease or the wide variety of periodontal treatments we offer at Eastside Periodontics, please call our Center Line, MI, office today. Dr. Jack Schwarcz looks forward to working with you toward better oral health.