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Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, needlessly afflicts the oral health of millions of people each year. It starts when your daily oral hygiene routine fails to adequately remove food residue and plaque buildup from your teeth and along the gumline. In time, this bacterial matter can harden into tartar.

This early stage of periodontal disease, which is known as gingivitis, can make your gums appear red or inflamed. This also involves increased bleeding during regular brushing and flossing. It can also cause chronic bad breath.

Without a professional dental cleaning at our practice and improvements in your oral hygiene regimen, gingivitis can escalate into periodontitis. This severe infection causes the gums to slowly recede from the base of your teeth, forming small pockets of bacterial infection near the roots of your teeth. Eventually, it could cause the loss of bone structure, which can result in the loss of an otherwise healthy tooth.

It’s also worth noting that new research has found that the systemic inflammation of gum disease can also have an impact on other medical conditions. This can be related to diabetes and heart disease as well as an increased chance of stroke. Even though chronic gum disease doesn’t cause these medical conditions, it can worsen symptoms and limit some treatment options.

If you live in the Worcester or Marlborough, Massachusetts area and you have concerns about the health of your gums, you should call 508.499.3566 to schedule a dental exam and cleaning with Dr. Akram E. Rafla.