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Although gum disease can be caused by hormonal changes, tobacco use, and even genetics, the most common cause of gum disease is the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. Your gums react to the presence of plaque by swelling, which allows more plaque and tartar to accumulate below the gumline. If your gum disease is left untreated, you could experience lost teeth, and loss of mass to your jawbone. Moreover, gum disease has been linked to other medical conditions.

Since a big part of preventing gum disease is controlling plaque and tartar, brushing and flossing are two very important things that you can do to minimize your risk. Seeing your dentist twice a year will give him the chance to clean any plaque that your toothbrush may have missed, remove any tartar on your teeth, and check for gum disease and other problems.

Gum disease can be treated with medication, and if necessary surgery. In some cases, treating gum disease may be addressed by changing your lifestyle and hygiene habits.

One way that your dentist can treat you for gum disease is with scaling and root planing. This process often takes two visits and may require a local anesthetic. In scaling, the dentist uses and instrument to remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth above and below the gumline. In the root planing process, your dentist will clean and smooth the roots of your tooth so that they can re-attach themselves to your jaw.

If you have noticed that your gums are swollen, tender, bleeding, or red, or it is is time for your routine cleaning and exam, make an appointment to see Dr. Roderick Spencer. To schedule a visit at Suite Dental in Bozeman, Montana, call 406-602-4100.