February has officially been declared "Gum Disease Awareness Month" in an effort to increase visibility to this pervasive, but often ignored, chronic disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the most common infection in the US - more widespread than cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Gum disease has been linked to several significant health issues including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pre-term birth and rheumatoid arthritis.Many people ignore the warning signs which include swollen or bleeding gums, bad breath, painful chewing, and loose or sensitive teeth. There are also certain behaviors and risk factors that can contribute to gum disease, such as smoking, stress, diabetes, heredity, crooked teeth, and even hormonal changes. If you’re over the age of 30, you have a 50% chance of having a mild, moderate or severe form of periodontal disease. Here at The Center for Specialized Dentistry, we perform periodontal exams on all of our patients to check their periodontal health. We also recommend you refer your family or friends who may have the above symptoms, please give us a call. Here at The Center for Specialized Dentistry we are committed to providing each patient with the highest quality of oral health care in the most gentle, efficient, and enthusiastic manner possible.