Gentle Dental of Shelby Township
4737 24 Mile Rd Suite 1, Shelby Township, MI 48316

Watching out for gum disease is as important as preventing tooth decay


There are a lot of ways to describe gum disease – gingivitis, periodontitis, receding gums and inflammation. But whatever term is used, the result may be the same. Tooth pain, inflamed gums and possible loss of teeth in extreme cases can result.

Gingivitis accounts for about 70 percent of gum disease and usually shows itself by bleeding when teeth are brushed and flossed or by the presence of continuous bad breath. It starts with bacteria lodged at the gum line when teeth aren’t properly cleaned and can lead to inflammation.

Left untreated, gingivitis may evolve into periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease that occurs in about 30 percent of cases. Typically, periodontitis develops when inflammation has proceeded to the point that connective tissue and the bone that supports the teeth are affected.

While the teeth may remain healthy, if the gums aren’t strong enough to support them, tooth loss can occur, according to That’s why it’s important to keep gum disease at bay at the first sign of a problem. Receding gums, pain at the gum line, sensitivity to hot and cold or red, puffy gums are indications that inflammation is present and gum disease has begun.

When gum disease occurs
Gum disease can begin as early as the teen years, although it is principally a condition of aging. Most people don’t experience this dental problem until they are past the age of 40, and it tends to worsen as people get older.

The American Dental Association warns that other factors can bring about gum disease, such as pregnancy and the hormonal changes that stem from it as well as health problems such as diabetes. Certain medications may aggravate gum health as well. As a result, patients should tell their dentists of any health issues they are experiencing.

Smoking is also a culprit, because the toxins in tobacco can contribute to gum loss. Stopping the habit will not only help halt the progression of gum inflammation, but it will improve the appearance of teeth, which can yellow from contact with tobacco.

Lessen gum problems
By far, the biggest influence in developing gum disease is the lack of good dental hygiene. When people don’t brush, floss and rinse with mouthwash on a regular basis, they aren’t cleaning away substances such as food and beverages that will coat their teeth and gums and cause damage. That leads to plaque buildup and tartar on the teeth, which may irritate and inflame the gums.

Dentists recommend using a soft-bristle brush and gentle brushing because it is easier on the gums and tooth enamel. Brushing two or three times a day and flossing at least once is often advised, along with regular rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash.

The importance of flossing at least once – and preferably twice – each day is also stressed by dentistry experts. Floss penetrates deeply between teeth to get rid of any food bits and bacteria that may remain after brushing. It also strengthens the gums and helps to remove plaque before it builds up to a damaging level.

Prevention counts
The gums are the glue that cements the dental structure together. They encase the roots and nerves and hold teeth securely to the bone. Paying attention to gum health is as important as taking care of one’s teeth. By checking for gum disease early, people can prevent teeth from loosening or sensitivity around gum lines from occurring.

Regular check-ups at the dentist office will allow the condition of gum tissue to be evaluated periodically. Any deterioration will show up on X-rays along with tooth decay that has developed.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Great care and advice from my hygienist, Debi Winkler. She is such an inspiration.
Victoria G.
Very friendly!
Amanda P.
The staff at Gentle Dental in Shelby Twp have been my dental professionals for over 20 years. The facility is extremely clean, the dentists are knowledgeable and friendly, Debi the dental hygienist […]
Michele C.
They are super nice and very gentel I hate going to the dentist but felt secure here. It’s great they are open late a couple nights a week so my husband can go and doesn’t have to take off of […]
Ladeana S.
I’ve been coming here for quite a few years and feel like they really care about my health and understand my fears about any pain I might be feeling.
Cynthia M.
Nice people , friendly and helpful.
Bill B.
James M.
Everyone is friendly and the service is superb.
Diane W.
Good service, short wait times, friendly staff
Deborah E.
Quality of service
Flora U.
There are so many great reviews of this place and due to my skepticism, I was a little worried that they were fabricated but truly, they are not! I took my chances and went to the office to find that […]
Lauren B.
Because they are so nice and friendly.
Darnajah T.
Very thorough, answered all my questions, staff is friendly.
Otto A.
Very professional, helpful, and kind especially since I am not very good at handling the dentist
Meagan J.
The staff was very nice and professional. Dr Torres was great and he was very informative and explained the procedures.
Margo M.
Great service
Jonathan C.
Very friendly and helpful staff.
Terrence W.
Everyone here was so extremely friendly and professional. Going to the dentist is not my favorite thing to do but they sure made it a great experience
Georgina K.
The office staff is very friendly and I love my hygienist, Debi.
Lori D.
Debbie is an awesome hygienist. She is a passionate about her job and it shows in the results. Kate and Joslyn are awesome too. Keep up the good work GD Shelby.
Mark M.
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Office Hours
  • Monday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (248) 721-4086
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