Gum disease, also known as periodontal is a disease that affects your gums and the surrounding tissue. The disease can be broken down to two stages:
- Gingivitis (early stage)
- Periodontitis (advanced gum disease)
How To Spot Gum Disease?
The most common and easiest signs to spot are red & swollen gums, and also when your gums bleed. As soon as you notice these signs, we recommend seeing your dentist as soon as possible. Like any treatment in dentistry, the earlier a dental problem is picked up, the quicker and easier it will be to treat.
When brushing or flossing your teeth, you will more than likely notice bleeding. It is important to carry on your every day oral hygiene habit as not brushing/flossing will be counter productive at treating gum disease (as it will allow more bacteria to attack your gums and teeth).
What Is Periodontitis?
As gum disease develops and becomes more advanced, the term used is Periodontitis. This means inflammation around the tooth and if not treated it can lead to severe tooth loss. At this stage you can expect to see more symptoms:
- Loose teeth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Gum line receding
- Bad breath/bad taste in the mouth
- Excessive production of saliva
The bodies natural defense when this happens is to recede away from the infection. This is what causes the gum lines to recede and leads to loose teeth, and eventually severe tooth loss. The infection will also attack the supporting bone in the jaw and can lead to further complications when you look at the different tooth replacement options (implants/dentures etc).
What Causes Gum Disease?
Bacteria is the start of gum disease. As bacteria builds up (plaque) it will eventually turn into a hard substance known as tartar (calculus). This will then start to irritate your gums and you will notice them bleed (as well as other symptoms). If left untreated, this will the turn into advanced gum disease and you will suffer from more symptoms.
Tartar cannot be removed with conventional cleaning methods as it is too hard. Dental hygienists (recommended to visit twice a year) are able to use professional dental tools to remove this tough substance and help protect your teeth and gums.
What To Do If You Suspect Gum Disease?
If you are worried you may be suffering with gum disease, please do not hesitate to call us and book your dental assessment today.