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Because gum disease can be painless in its earliest stages, many people may not know that they have it. Some people may not even think about preventing gum disease, or having it treated until it becomes a serious issue.

Often, your dentist will be the first one to spot gum disease, which is why it is so important to see your dentist for your regular cleanings and exams. If detected early, gum disease can be kept from becoming an extensive, and expensive problem.

In between dental appointments, you should make time to check for gum disease. Normal, healthy gums are pink. If your gums have turned red, or even blue, that may be a sign of gum disease. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, or are receding from your teeth, if you have loose teeth of chronic bad breath, you need to make an appointment to see your dentist.

If your gum disease is not treated, you risk losing teeth and bone mass in your jaw. However, there could be other, more serious complications. The bacteria from your inflamed gums could find its way into your bloodstream where it can reach your heart. The result can be a hardening of the arteries, which is also known as atherosclerosis. You will also be at a higher risk a heart attack or a stroke. Bacteria that has entered your body through the gums can enter the brain, which can lead to dementia. If you inhale the bacteria from gum disease over an extended period of time, you could find yourself with a respiratory infection. Gum disease can also cause serious complications with diabetes.

Gum disease can be dangerous if it is not addressed. Fortunately, you can prevent it, and your dentist can treat it, if it occurs. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. You should also see your dentist twice a year to have a your teeth cleaned and your teeth and gums examined.

If you are concerned about gum disease and you live in the Kimball, Michigan, area, call 810.985.3301 to make an appointment to see Dr. Scott Ferguson at Scott J. Ferguson, DDS. We look forward to helping you have a bright and healthy smile!