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Because the early stage gum disease, known as gingivitis, is painless, many adults in the United States may not even be aware that they have it. Some of the symptoms of gum disease can include red, swollen and tender gums, gums that bleed when you brush or floss, gums that are receding, loose teeth and bad breath. If left untreated, the condition will worsen and you could suffer lost teeth and a loss of bone mass in your jaw. There is also a chance that you could develop health complications in other areas of your body.

Gum disease can have several causes, but the primary cause of gum disease is the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth and along the gumline. You can fight plaque and tartar by brushing at least twice a day for two minutes at a time with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing before bed and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and exams.

If you develop gingivitis, your dentist can help by suggesting changes to your oral hygiene regimen, or changes in your lifestyle. Your dentist may also give you a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing.

In scaling, the dentist will use an instrument or a sonic device to remove the plaque and tartar from your tooth above and below the gumline. Then, in a second visit, he will clean and smooth the roots of the tooth so that they can re-attach themselves to the jaw.

If you are concerned about gum disease and have noticed some of the symptoms, now is the time to do something about the problem before it worsens. If you would like Dr. Drs. Choi & Choi to examine you and suggest a treatment for gum disease, and you live in the San Francisco, California area, call Richard Choi, DMD & Ryan Choi, DMD at 415-986-1491 to schedule an appointment. Let’s get you started on the road to better oral health!