The Dental Center of South Bend
1005 East LaSalle Avenue, South Bend, IN 46617

Gum Disease – Understanding Gingivitis and Periodontitis

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Periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, is a potentially serious infection of the gums and soft tissues that surround your teeth and help hold them in place. The early stages of gum disease are reversible with strict oral hygiene. You may not know when your gum problems first started because there are often no early symptoms. Advancing gum infection produces sore, bleeding gums, and pain when eating. If the inflammation and infection isn’t treated, the supporting connective tissues and bone eventually become involved. If this occurs, you may lose your teeth.

Gingivitis Can Progress to Periodontitis 



Infection and inflammation of gums is usually a direct result of poor oral hygiene at home. If you don’t clean your teeth, a sticky film called plaque builds up on them. Eventually, it hardens to form tartar that only your dentist or dental hygienist can remove. The bacteria contained in plaque and tartar irritates and inflames gums. Your dentist calls the early stage of gum infection gingivitis. It does not yet involve any loss of soft tissue or supportive bone, and it is often reversible through good oral care. If left untreated, gingivitis advances to the more serious condition known as periodontitis. Once it reaches this stage, your gums begin to pull away from your teeth and form pockets that fill with infection. Eventually, the body’s immune response and bacterial toxins start to break down and destroy the bone and connective tissue. As the loss of supporting tissues progresses, teeth loosen and fall out or require extraction.

Periodontal Disease Is Not an Inevitable Part of Aging

The suffering caused by gum disease and tooth loss is not caused by normal aging. Most periodontal disease is preventable with thorough twice-daily brushing, flossing, regular dental appointments and professional cleanings. See your dentist for early recognition and treatment of gum problems.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in South Bend, call The Dental Center of South Bend today at (574) 367-7000 or make an appointment.

The Dental Center offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in South Bend. With 4 affiliated practices throughout Indiana, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At The Dental Center of South Bend, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at The Dental Center of South Bend.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Staff is great.
Melissa G.
The service was excellent from the moment I walked in. The entire staff had a genuine, welcoming smile and seemed to care about every client. I have rarely seen such authentic friendliness and caring […]
Lori H.
Took our 3 yr old for her first visit and they were great with her.
Paula R.
Friendly, thorough, and competent service/treatment
Daniel S.
I’ve always had great experiences with the hygienists and Very happy with the work dr metzler does…. They all seem to genuinely care about the patient.
Debbie H.
Everyone is friendly and professional, and service is fast.
Cheryl M.
Deanna is very thorough and does an excellent job explaining the work being performed. The hygienist that shares work space with Deanna has cleaned my teeth in the past and is great as well.
Jeff J.
Great service
Patricia W.
Dr. Stakem is very kind. I have had a lot of work done lately and it has been quick and painless.
Tracey K.
Always good quality care.
Rebecca T.
They were amazing with my little man . They treat these children as best as can be . Love them
Debbie E.
We have been with The Dental Center for about 6 years now and have never been let down with the quality of service and knowledge. Thank you!
Clarissa L.
Today my son had unexpected extraction’s, due to infection. Dr. Jess, and another woman I can’t remember her name, dark hair, made a super traumatic event so much easier. My son was Waylon, and I […]
Brittany T.
Very professional staff.
George O.
I have come to you for years and am very happy with the service
Kathleen V.
Quick in and out. Polite staff and dentist.
Lynnda M.
Dental and office staff are very professional, friendly and punctual. As a working professional, I appreciate the timeliness and efficiency and expertise during my visit. I wouldn’t go anywhere […]
Carol G.
It was my first time at the center but it felt like i was always going there because the service, the staff were all great! Best place to go
Carine U.
I love the great treatment you get from everybody
Gayle T.
Excellent customer service from the entire LaSalle Dental Center staff!!
Don H.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
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We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

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Office Hours
  • Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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  • Phone: (574) 367-7000
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