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While gum disease affects many of of adults in the United States, you may not be aware you are suffering from it, since it can be painless. But if you have gums that are swollen, bright red or tender, or they bleed when you brush and floss, or if you have loose teeth or chronic bad breath, you should talk to your dentist about gum disease.

In some cases, gum disease can be caused by medications, medical conditions, tobacco use or even pregnancy. However, the most common cause of gum disease is a buildup of plaque on your teeth. When plaque builds up, your gums react by swelling, which will then allow the plaque to form below the gumline. If it is not removed, plaque can harden into tartar, complicating the situation. If gum disease is not treated, it can result in lost teeth, loss of bone mass in your jaw, and problems in other parts of your body.

Your dentist may suggest that you make some changes in how you brush and floss, or he may even suggest some lifestyle changes. The early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis can often be treated by scaling and root planing. In that procedure, the dentist will use an instrument to remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth before smoothing out the roots so that they can re-attach themselves to your jaw. More advanced cases may require surgery.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, Dr. Jee Lee can help. If you live in the Anaheim, California area, please call 714-635-5500 to make an appointment at Dental Group of Anaheim. We look forward to helping you have a healthy smile.