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We all know it’s important to brush and floss our teeth. But did you know that your teeth aren’t the only things that benefit from brushing and flossing? Your gums and other soft tissues in your mouth need daily care to stay healthy as well. Sadly, though, many people do not take adequate care of their gums, and develop serious problems with gum disease.

Gum disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria form a thin, sticky film known as plaque–the same plaque that is a major cause of tooth decay–and irritate the gums into an inflamed infection. But while they are tender and bleed easily, the gums do not typically hurt at this early stage, and therefore many people don’t think there is anything really the matter.

As gum disease progresses, plaque hardens into tartar under the gum line, forming the perfect place for bacteria to wreak havoc on inner gum tissue and bone. Gums recede from teeth, forming pockets. Teeth can eventually loosen and even fall out. Gum disease has also been linked to such health conditions and diabetes and heart disease.

So gum disease is quite serious, and the earlier it is caught the better. At Prairie Dental Center, we offer various treatment options for people with gum disease, including scaling and root planing. These are nonsurgical deep cleaning methods designed to remove plaque from below the gum line and prevent it from gathering again.

If you would like to learn more about gum disease or wish to schedule an appointment with our dentists, please call our office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, today.