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Existing Patients: (317) 890-4455

10935 East Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46229

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Indianapolis residents ask, “What causes gum disease?”

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.

Washington Street Dentistry Describe advanced gum disease can cause serious damage

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.

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Washington Street Dentistry
Dr. Matthew Church

Dr. Matthew Church image
A graduate from the University of Kentucky, Dr. M Church has an extensive amount of skill and expertise in the field of professional dentistry. With over 20 years of experience, he is a firm believer in providing his patients with the best possible care for their dental concerns. Whilst being educated and experienced in a multitude of dental services, Dr. Church is particularly proficient in the areas involving Invisalign, for which he is a certified provider, cosmetic dental services, and dental implants.

Dr. Church invests both time and resources in educating and maintaining his standard of quality in terms of his service. He undertook and graduated from the Misch International Implant Institute Surgical Program and maintains active membership with the American College of Oral Implantology. He is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.


Google reviews

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

The only dentist in 31 years that makes me feel somewhat at ease. I still cry but they never make me feel rediculous (even when I know I am) 🙂 highly recommend. My bf now goes here as well as two of my best friends and a co-worker!

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

Washington Street Dentistry

in Indianapolis.