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
The staff was friendly and efficient.
Hannah A.
The professionalism and courtesy of the people I met there. The rooms were set out in a useful and comfortable way and the people not only know their job, but they value the customers.
Marianne H.
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.
Excellent service!
Florencia A.
Nicest Staff of Any Dental Facility I’ve ever been to.
Jason J.
staff is very friendly and competent
Cynthia B.
Terry is amazing! Friendly and efficient with a gentle touch. I had no problem scheduling my appointments.
Kimberly C.
My son has braces from the Dental center, and my daughter might be next. What makes this place awesome for my kid’s dental health, is because of Doctor Richard L. Cohen. He is good with kids, […]
Sayela W.
Teri always does a great job and is very pleasant.
William C.
Friendly office, great service.
Janet B.
Marge was great. She tried several different X-rays to see what my issues were. Dr. Metzler is great. I don’t want to see anyone else.
Jane B.
Always good quality care.
Rebecca T.
I feel confident in the medical care I am receiving. Scheduling fits my schedule. And appointments are on time.
Robert W.
Very efficient. Friendly and everything is explained thoroughly .
Rachel M.
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.
I enjoy the smiley faces and the friendliness every time I walk in for my appointment….
Lavern W.
Terry is AWESOME!
Yolanda W.
Always a great experience.
Rebecca T.
Friendly staff and a job well done
Jayson F.
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
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (574) 367-7000
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