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Your gums are an important part of your body. Yes, they support your teeth, but they also protect your body from infection. Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria and without the protection of your gums, that bacteria can find a way into your body. This not only can result in gum disease and tooth loss, but it may also contribute to respiratory problems, heart issues and complications with diabetes.

Gum disease can have different causes, but the primary cause is a sticky mixture of bacteria and food buildup called plaque on your teeth. When plaque accumulates, your gums swell, which allows more plaque and tartar (which is a hardened form of plaque) to reach below your gum line, admitting more bacteria and causing infection.

In the early stages, your dentist/hygienist can address your gum disease with two simple procedures: scaling and root planing. When the dentist/hygienist scales your teeth, he/she will use an instrument to remove the plaque and tartar above and below the gumline. Then in the second process, the dentist/hygienist will clean and smooth the roots of your teeth, so that they can re-establish a healthy connection to your gums. The entire procedure may take two visits and may require the use of local anesthetic.

Some of the symptoms of gum disease include red, tender and bleeding gums. But this is also known as a “silent” disease in that you may not always experience any discomfort or be alarmed at the sight of bleeding when brushing. If you are experiencing any of the signs of gum disease, or if it is time for your routine cleaning and checkup, our dentist, Dr. Calvin L. Garland, will be happy to see you. If you would like to learn more about scaling and root planing in Sacramento, California, call RiverLake Family Dental at 916-422-1823 today.