What is gum disease?
Gum (Periodontal) disease is an inflammation of the tissues that support your teeth. If plaque and tartar are allowed to build up on teeth, toxins produced by the bacteria inflame the gums.
Inflamed gums are red, swollen and bleed on brushing.
Periodontal disease is classified according to the severity of the disease. The two major types are gingivitis and periodontitis.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a film of food and bacteria (germs) which forms on the tooth surface. Plaque is responsible for the two most common oral diseases; tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque can be removed with good tooth brushing and cleaning between the teeth with floss or inter dental brushes.
What is tartar?
Tartar is formed when minerals such as calcium, in the saliva combine with plaque to make it hard. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by your dentist or hygienist. Regular, effective plaque removal with thorough tooth brushing and flossing is the best way to prevent build-up of tartar.
How is gum disease treated?
The main goal of treatment is to control the disease. The number and types of treatment will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease. Any type of treatment requires that the patient keep up good daily care at home. We will advise you about this.
Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. Gums affected by gingivitis can become healthy again with daily brushing and cleaning between the teeth, and regular cleaning here at our practice.. Once we have done a thorough dental cleaning, we will also advise you how to clean all the surfaces of your teeth to get your gums healthy again.
This is more advanced gum disease, and involves the loss of gum and bone supporting the teeth. This loss of support around the tooth is not reversible, but treatment can help ensure that it does not progress further.
Some factors increase the risk of developing gum disease:
- Smoking. Need another reason to quit smoking? Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease. Additionally, smoking can lower the chances for successful treatment.
- Diabetes. People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease.
- Some types of medications can affect the health of the gums.
- Genetic susceptibility. Some people are more prone to severe gum disease than others, this tendency can run in families.
- Crooked teeth. It is more difficult to clean well around teeth which are crowded and overlapped.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Symptoms of gum disease include:
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bad breath that won't go away or bad taste
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Permanent teeth that are loose.
How can I keep my teeth and gums healthy?
The good news is that you can help prevent periodontal (gum) disease by taking good care of your teeth every day and having regular dental checkups. Here's how to keep your teeth and gums healthy
- Brush your teeth well twice a day.
- Clean between your teeth every day.
- Have regular dental cleaning visits
- Consider quitting smoking