Gum / Periodontal Disease
Your gums play an important role in dental health and without proper care and maintenance, periodontal or gum disease can take hold and lead to severe outcomes such as loss of teeth and loss of bone. It is an inflammatory disease that affects the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth and is a major cause of tooth loss and bone loss.
Periodontal disease ranges in forms from mild such as gingivitis – an inflammation of the gums leading to plaque and tartar build up – to the more advanced and chronic forms which can lead to major soft tissue loss and tooth loss. It can often begin painlessly and without many noticeable symptoms. In fact, symptoms may not even occur until the advanced stage of the disease. Identification of gum disease is difficult as symptoms often do not include pain and so it is vital to pay close attention to any changes in visuals and feeling in your gums. Maintain good oral hygiene and regular consulting with your dentist to establish a healthy strategy for avoiding this disease. Early detection is an important safeguard against gum disease.
Everyday food can get trapped in and around our teeth where gums meet the teeth. Without brushing or flossing this can lead to a build-up of bacteria (plaque) which then hardens and becomes tartar. As plaque and tartar advances, it can lead to decay in the tooth or inflammation of the gums above and below the gum line. The gums become swollen and can bleed easily with brushing and flossing. If left untreated gum disease can lead to the gums receding and “pulling” away from the teeth creating pockets around them, which become a breeding ground for bacteria. As your body fights the ‘bad’ bacteria with ‘good bacteria’, it may inadvertently attack the good connective tissue and bone that supports the teeth, keeping them in place.
The four main signs of gum disease are
- Inflamed and bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Tooth sensitivity
- Bad breath
Other complicating factors such as poor oral health, poor diet and smoking can quicken the advance of gum disease. If you suffer from any of the above, we urge you to make an appointment as soon as possible with one of our dentists to assess your oral health and create a treatment plan to help you get back on track.