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Gum diseases are difficult infections that attack your gums and teeth roots. There are two main kinds of gum disease which are periodontitis and gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis actually becomes the more serious infection, periodontitis. Because these diseases can be so dangerous, our specialists at Canton Dental Clinic in Canton, South Dakota, have created a guide to help you fight them and keep these vicious attackers at bay. We will examine the three stages of gum disease, their symptoms, and their treatments.

1 — Calculus Build Up
The last time you heard the word ‘calculus’ was probably in math class, but there are actually two kinds of calculus — there is a math form and there is hardened plaque build up. Dental calculus forms when plaque gathers around the teeth and isn’t cleaned off. When it is stationary like this, it slowly becomes calcified and hardens to the teeth above and below the gum line.

To prevent calculus build up, thoroughly brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, floss daily in between every tooth, and limit sugary and starchy foods. To remove tartar, Dr. Chris Freed can use a technique called scaling, where he uses special instruments to remove tartar above and below the gumline.

2 — Gingivitis
The part of your gums that surround the bottom of your teeth is called the gingiva. That is why a disease that causes redness and swelling in that part of the gums is called gingivitis. Gingivitis symptoms include gums that are bleed easily, are puffy, dark red, receding, or tender.

Gingivitis is treated with scaling and another process called root planting. Root planing removes bacteria from the gums. After professional treatment, retain good oral hygiene habits at home.

3 — Periodontitis
This infection is very serious and, without immediate treatment, could permanently affect your oral health. Periodontitis does not only attack the gums and enamel, but the roots that attach the teeth to the jaw. If it persists, you may lose teeth.

Dr. Chris Freed can treat periodontitis also using scaling and root planting. One more method is antibiotic gel that he can insert in the pocket between the teeth and gums. Advanced forms of periodontitis may require a serious dental surgery.

Our dentist, Dr. Chris Freed, is pleased to offer treatments for gum diseases. If you think you may have any form of gum disease, call our office at 605-987-2721. Remember that thorough flossing and brushing are the best methods of prevention.