What is Gum Disease, and What Can I Do to Prevent It?
Gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis are serious infections that are common amongst the general population. Slow-moving and often hard to detect, these gum diseases can be the starting point of more serious dental outcomes such as cavities and even tooth loss.
Gingivitis is the mildest of gum disease and leads to the gum surrounding teeth becoming inflamed and red, sometimes even bleeding after brushing. Many people do not realise they are suffering from gum diseases such as gingivitis, hence the importance of regular dental check-up. Gingivitis is often reversible with proper dental hygiene, including brushing and flossing.
If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a condition called periodontitis. Periodontitis is more severe and can contribute to the tooth structure’s actual destructing, resulting in complete tooth loss if left untreated. A build-up of plaque can lead to bacterias that erode at the tooth enamel and degrade both the gum and tooth.
Warning signs of gum disease
The warning signs of gum disease include:
- Red swollen and painful gums
- Bleeding whilst brushing and flossing
- Loose teeth
- Visual gaps between teeth
- Pus between the gums or teeth
- Constant bad breath regardless of brushing and mouthwash
If you look closely at your teeth, your gums should fit snugly around them. If suffering from gum disease, then ‘pockets’ can form where the teeth meet the gums. Over time, these pockets can come deeper and provide a space for bacteria and plaque to build up, which eventually can lead to gum recession and even tooth loss.
Your gums should fit snugly around your teeth. When gum disease starts, it destroys the bone and gums, forming little ‘pockets’ around the teeth. Over time these ‘pockets’ can become deeper, creating a larger space for bacteria to grow. To keep your gums and teeth in good health, it is essential to brush and floss regularly, allowing any bacteria and plaque to be removed. Frequent professional cleaning will also help with a deeper and more thorough clean to remove tartar from places where you cannot reach with floss.
How can I prevent gum disease?
Proper dental care and hygiene act as a safeguard against gum disease. Everyday brushing and flossing will help remove plaque build-up and debris caught between teeth and gums. Along with brushing your teeth and gums, it’s important to remember your tongue as bacteria tends to build up there also. Mouth wash is another preventative measure to help remove debris and bacteria that brushing and flossing may have missed.
Along with the above mentioned, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle choice as well. Smoking and a diet high in sugar increase your risk of gum disease significantly, and it is crucial to consult your dentist in maroubra professional about what choices you may be making that could be harmful to your teeth and gums.
If you are concerned about gum disease or want to know more, call Dental Avenue Maroubra today to book a check-up appointment.