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It’s estimated by the American Dental Association that nearly half of all Americans over the age of 30 have some degree of gum disease. Even more disconcerting is the report by the Centers for Disease Control estimating that 64 percent of people over age 65 have moderate-to-severe gum disease.

Gum disease is primarily caused by hardened tartar buildup at the gumline. Increased risk factors, such as tobacco use and alcohol consumption as well as certain medical conditions like dry mouth or diabetes, increase your chances.

Gum disease starts out as gingivitis. This often occurs when plaque and residual food particles are not effectively removed during the twice-daily brushing and daily flossing of your teeth. These substances then harden into tartar, thus exposing your gum tissues to a constant bacterial presence, which leads to inflammation.

In many cases, gingivitis can be treated by a dental checkup and cleaning at Pro Spoto Dental. Once the hardened tartar has been removed, improvements to your daily oral hygiene routine can help clear up any lingering issues and keep gingivitis away from your smile. Without timely treatment, gum disease can advance into periodontitis.

Periodontitis causes your gums to recede from the base of your teeth, forming pockets of infection deep down at the root. In time, this can even lead to a loss of structure in the bones that anchor your teeth in your mouth.

Continuing research has also found a relationship between periodontitis and medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

If you are concerned that you might be developing gum disease in Tampa, Florida, you shouldn’t hesitate to call (813) 884-3287 and schedule an appointment with your dentist, Dr. Gerald Spoto.