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Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a problem threatening the oral health of millions of Americans each year. The American Dental Association estimates that nearly half of the population over the age of 30 has some degree of periodontal disease. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also found that around 65 percent of seniors have moderate-to-severe levels of periodontal disease.

When residual food particles and plaque are not effectively removed by your daily oral hygiene routine, they can easily harden into tartar. Tartar is a bacterial-rich substance that is very hard to remove with brushing and flossing. This constant bacterial presence often leads to the inflammation and eventual infection in the gum tissues.

Periodontal disease starts out in the form of gingivitis. Common symptoms often include gums that bleed easily when brushing and flossing and issues with chronic bad breath. In many cases, the gums might also look red or inflamed. Improvements to your daily oral hygiene routine and a thorough dental cleaning with Dr. J. Whitley Wills can often reverse gingivitis.

If gingivitis is allowed to advance unchecked, it will eventually develop into the more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis. This inflammation and infection cause the gums to slowly pull back from the base of the teeth. In time, pockets of infection form near the roots of your teeth. Periodontitis can even result in the loss of structure in the bones that anchor your teeth to your jaw.

Increased focus on brushing and flossing twice per day is the most effective preventive measure. Be sure to floss along the gumline and behind your last molar. Attending your regular dental checkup with Dr. J. Whitley Wills will then serve to remove any minor areas of tartar buildup before it becomes a more serious problem.

If you have been experiencing symptoms of periodontal disease in Memphis, Tennessee, you should contact Dr. J. Whitley Wills at 901-726-9525 to schedule a checkup.