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When people think about their oral health, this usually means taking care of their teeth. And to be sure, caring properly for the teeth is an essential part of good oral health. But the mouth is a complex landscape, and there are other considerations that need to be made. One element of oral health that often gets overlooked is the gums.

Your gums perform a crucial role in your mouth, protecting and supporting your teeth. But they are sensitive, vulnerable tissues prone to bacterial infection. Bacteria constantly accumulates in your mouth in the form of plaque–the same plaque that causes tooth decay. Plaque causes irritation and inflammation, and creates a destructive environment.

Gum disease initially has very mild, often painless symptoms. If allowed to progress, though, it can eventually cause substantial tissue destruction and bone loss. Gum disease is also the leading cause of tooth loss.

Gum disease is also serious because it can be irreversible. But its progress can be stopped. At Sylvan S. Stern, DDS, we use deep cleaning methods like scaling and root planing to remove built-up plaque and tartar below the gum line and prevent their future accumulation. However, periodontal surgery may be necessary.

If you would like to learn more about preventing and treating periodontal disease, please call our dental office in Southfield, MI, today.