New Patients: (317) 333-6788

Existing Patients: (317) 890-4455

10935 East Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46229

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Indianapolis residents ask, “What causes gum disease?”

Washington Street Dentistry Describe advanced gum disease can cause serious damage

Many Indianapolis patients think that gum disease is an inevitable consequence of aging. However, it is possible to have healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime with proper care. Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth. While early stages of gum disease are easily treated, advanced gum disease can cause serious damage including tooth loss.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is most commonly caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene, more specifically, when there is a buildup of plaque in the mouth.

When we consume sugary foods or beverages, the sugars react with the bacteria to form acidic plaque. Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, however the process will continue to repeat itself as new plaque forms. When plaque is left on the teeth for days at a time, it can begin to harden under the gum line and turn into tartar. Tartar is impossible to remove through brushing and flossing along and must be removed by a professional cleaning.


New Patients: (317) 333-6788

Existing Patients: (317) 890-4455

When plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, they begin to irritate and inflame the gum tissue. This can cause chronic bad breath and bleeding of the gums during brushing. If left untreated, pockets will eventually form between the gum and teeth. As these pockets deepen, bacteria can cause deep infections and lead to a loss of teeth, bone, and tissue.

Symptoms of gum disease

Identifying the signs of gum disease early is extremely important to prevent irreversible damage. The most common signs of gum disease include:

  • Swollen, red gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose or shifting teeth

While gum disease can wreak havoc on the mouth, it’s important to remember that good oral hygiene and regular dental visits will ensure that any signs are caught early.

Back to Gum Disease Page


Google reviews

Washington Street
Dentistry 4.7 out of 5 based
on 52 Google reviews

I always have a great experience when I go to Washington Street Dentistry. The staff is very professional and Dr. Church is very personable. I’ve had fillings and a root canal and didn’t feel a thing!

For your general, cosmetic, and emergency dental needs, visit

Washington Street Dentistry

in Indianapolis.