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Have you been diagnosed with gum disease? You’re not alone. Chronic periodontitis affects 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States alone.

What causes it? In a word, plaque. Plaque is that sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth. Plaque can be eliminated by brushing and flossing. If it isn’t removed, it can harden into tartar (calculus), which can only be tackled by your dentist.

Gum disease is sometimes called by other names: periodontitis, periodontal disease, and gingivitis. These names refer to the particular stage of gum disease.

Early-stage gum disease is called gingivitis. Symptoms include red, swollen and bleeding gums, sensitive teeth, pain when chewing and bad breath. At this stage, your gum disease is still reversible, since the bone and connective tissue holding the teeth in place are not yet affected.

Periodontitis or periodontal disease is gum disease in its later phases, where the supporting bone and fibers are irreversibly damaged. In addition to the symptoms of gingivitis, this more advanced stage consists of a loss of tissue and bone in the mouth, permanent teeth feeling loose, changes in the bite, a change in the fit of partial dentures, and pus surrounding the teeth and gums.

The stage of your gum disease will determine the treatment Dr. David J. Berg will prescribe. Gingivitis can be reversed through diligent oral hygiene practices and dental cleanings. Periodontal disease might require scaling, root planing or gum surgery.

To learn more about your options for treatment, call Studio 1 Dental in Sacramento, California at 916.567.0900. Dr. David J. Berg and his expert team have the training and experience to give your smile the absolute best.