What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease or periodontal disease is the inflammation of your gums that, if left untreated, can progress to affect the bone supports of your teeth. It is caused by plaque, bacterial buildup that will accumulate on your teeth. If not removed through daily brushing and flossing, this can affect your gums and teeth and eventually the bone that supports your teeth. This periodontal disease can cause your teeth to become loose and painful.
What are the two main phases of gum disease?
Gingivitis is the initial inflammation of the gums caused by plaque buildup around the gums. This causes swelling, bleeding and sometimes discomfort during brushing and flossing. This can generally be reversed without long term damage through excellent hygiene (daily brushing and flossing), while sometimes a visit to the dentist for a thorough cleaning may be required.
This is the advanced stage of gum disease, where the supporting bone and tissues have been permanently damaged. A ‘pocket’ between the gum and tooth may form, which traps food and plaque and can be very
difficult to clean. If detected early enough, thorough periodontal treatment with a dentist or gum specialist known as a periodontist, along with excellent daily hygiene may prevent further damage and allow ongoing retention of your teeth. If the periodontal disease has progressed further, your teeth may become loose, change position, become heavily infection and painful or even require removal.
How do I know if I have Gum Disease?
Gum disease (or periodontal disease) is most common amongst adults, but can occur at any age. Gum disease is also common in individuals who smoke, or have poorly controlled diabetes or immune issues. Early signs and symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red, puffy or swollen gums (Gingivitis)
- Bleeding during brushing or flossing
- Receding gums which cause your teeth to appear longer
- Gums which are loose or floppy around the tooth
- Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- Pus coming from the space around your tooth
If detected early, gum disease or also known as gingivitis can be reversed before permanent damage occurs. Make sure you contact us to make an appointment to have this assessed and treated before it’s too late
How is Gum Disease treated?
Early stages of gum disease or gingivitis can be treated at home with daily brushing and flossing with good technique. In some individuals, we recommend other hygiene tools such as interdental brushes, floss tools, water or air flossers and special brushes to help with your daily cleaning.
In more advanced gum disease (also known as periodontal disease), a professional cleaning by a dentist or periodontist is required. This clean is a periodontal treatment that helps remove hardened plaque deposits on your teeth and sometimes below the gums which cannot just be removed with routine cleaning at home. We can remove these hardened deposits with special tools, allowing your gums to heal once the surrounding area is thoroughly cleaned. This helps stabilizes your gum or periodontal health.
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