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Gum disease is more common in the American population than you might think. The American Dental Association estimates that nearly 47 percent of people over the age of 30 have some degree of gum disease. The inflammation and infection involved with the disease can have a serious negative impact on your oral health.

The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Common symptoms include red or inflamed gums that bleed easily during brushing and flossing and chronic bad breath. In many cases, gingivitis can be treated and reversed with a thorough dental cleaning. Serious improvements to your daily oral hygiene routine will then be required to keep tartar from forming on your teeth.

If left unchecked, gingivitis can develop into the more advanced form of gum disease, which is known as periodontitis. This level of infection in the gum tissue can cause your gums to recede from the base of your teeth. This forms deep pockets of infection within the tissues and it poses a threat to the roots of your teeth.

The systemic inflammation caused by periodontitis can also have a negative effect on your immune system. Continuing research has found that this disease can be related to other medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It’s important to understand that while periodontal disease does not cause these conditions, it does seem to have some level of impact on your treatment options.

If you have questions or concerns about gum disease in Leawood, Kansas, you should call Robert P. Sherman at to explore your treatment options. Your dentist, Dr. Robert P. Sherman, will be more than happy to help you!