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If you have been caring for your teeth and gums you know that healthy gums don’t happen by chance. Your gums are an important part of your oral health¬†when it comes to an attractive smile. They perform a vital function by surrounding and supporting your pearly whites.

In fact, gum disease (or periodontal disease) is one of the biggest factors in adult tooth loss. This shouldn’t be ignored, but since gum disease can be painless, you may not even be aware that you have it unless you see your dentist regularly.¬† So what should you look out for? Symptoms may include swollen or red, tender gums, bleeding gums, loose teeth, persistent bad breath and receding gums.

The main cause of gum disease is plaque–a sticky, bacterial film that forms every day on your teeth. This is why you want to brush and floss every day, faithfully, as it removes plaque and prevents it from hardening. Once plaque hardens, you will need to have it professionally removed by one of our dentists, Drs. Smith, Stahr, and Smith.

Stopping periodontal disease can be as easy as detecting it early, and at this stage, it is usually reversible. This is why you don’t want to miss those scheduled dental visits. In the early stages, treatment includes stepping up your oral hygiene routine–brushing at least twice each day and flossing at least once–followed by a professional dental cleaning.

For advanced gum disease, treatment depends on how far the degeneration has gone. Dr. David Smith may recommend additional professional dental cleanings, improved at-home oral hygiene, antibiotic treatment, scaling and root planing (deep cleanings), or gum surgery to help overcome this condition.

We encourage our patients to take their gum health as seriously as the health of their teeth. If you have any concerns about your oral health, please call 859.278.9391 today. At Smith & Stahr, P.S.C. in Lexington, Kentucky, Drs. Smith, Stahr, and Smith are always happy to help you maintain your healthy smile!