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Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection and inflammation of the gum tissues, that is usually caused by hardened tartar at the gum line. Increased risk factors like tobacco use and certain medical conditions, like diabetes, can allow gum disease to develop and progress faster.

The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Initial symptoms include red or inflamed gums that bleed easily during brushing and flossing as well as problems with chronic bad breath. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, Dr. Clayton M. Hansen recommends that you schedule an appointment to explore treatment options, before the problem progresses.

Left unchecked gingivitis can develop into the more advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis. This level of infection in the gum tissue can cause your gums to recede from the base of your teeth. This enables pockets of infection to form deep within the gum tissues. In time it can even cause a loss of structure in the bones that anchor your teeth.

The chronic, systemic inflammation caused by advanced gum disease can also have a negative effect on your immune system. Continuing research has found that this can related to other medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. You should note that while periodontal disease cannot not cause these conditions, they do seem to have some level of impact or can limit your treatment options.

If you have questions about gum disease, or you would like to explore your treatment options, please call Dr. Clayton M. Hansen at 801-756-2809 to schedule an appointment.