What is gum disease?
Early gum disease, or gingivitis occurs when there is a build up of plaque between the teeth and the gums. This often results in irritation of the gums causing inflammation and sometimes infections.
Advanced gum disease, or Periodontitis is when the gingivitis is left untreated allowing the condition to worsen. If left untreated, the bacteria trapped in the ‘gum pockets’ cause inflammation and deteriorate the gums and the bone around the teeth.
Symptoms can include:
- Bleeding when brushing
- Redness and swelling of the gums
- Receeding gums
- Bad Breath
- Foul taste in the mouth
- Loose teeth or tooth loss
Should I be worried?
Gum disease affects many adults and sometimes children at some stage of their life. It is also a risk factor for heart and lung disease so it is very important to tackle the problem early. Good news is, Gum disease is fairly preventable. It is usually caused by lack of good oral hygiene and risks are significantly higher if you are a smoker. Periodontitis is not always painful until the end stages so many people do not realize they have it until the teeth are sore or loose. By this stage, saving the teeth can become difficult.
So what should I do?
It can be tempting to avoid brushing and flossing if your gums start to bleed but gentle cleaning of teeth and gums will help reduce the bleeding over time. If it doesn’t resolve, chances are you have plaque trapped between the teeth and gums that need to be professionally cleaned.
See your dentist early. Prevention is always better than cure. Early intervention can not only help keep your teeth for life, but also prevent more expensive treatment later on. Your dentist will gently examine your teeth and gums with a probe and measure the gum spaces between them to check if they are in good health. In severe cases, your dentist will refer you to a Periodontist who specializes in gum disease treatment.
My 7 tips to maintain a good healthy mouth!
- Limit sugary foods and drinks
- Brush your teeth and gums twice a day
- Eat a balanced healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Avoid saturated fats
- Drink plenty of water
- Visit your dentist regularly. Every 6 months is ideal
- Avoid smoking
If you’d like to know more, visit our website or contact your oral health expert at Dentistry on Coolum. 07 5446 1616