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Gum disease is the commonplace term used to describe periodontal disease. This is a progressive inflammation and infection of gum tissues, that often results from hardened tartar where your teeth meet your gums.

Hardened tartar introduces constant bacterial exposure to your gum tissues. Increased risk factors like regular tobacco use and certain medical conditions, like diabetes, can make you more prone to develop gum disease earlier or cause it to advance 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. This level of infection can often be remedied by a thorough cleaning procedure at Dr. James E. Gaff’s office. You can then prevent future infections with consistent improvements in your daily oral hygiene routine.

If it is not addressed early, gingivitis can develop into the more advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis. This level of infection in the gum tissue can cause you 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 result in a loss of bone structure deep down where your teeth anchor to your jaw.

The systemic inflammation caused by periodontitis 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. While gum disease cannot not cause these conditions, it does have a relationship with them that can limit your treatment options.

If you are concerned that you might be developing gum disease, you should call Dr. James E. Gaff’s clinic in Jacksonville, Florida at 904-641-2655 to explore your treatment options.