Gum (periodontal) disease and its effects

Over half the population have gum disease often without knowing it and can lead to bleeding gums, loose teeth, bad breath and other health conditions such as diabetes.Gum disease is fully treatable if caught early on. The cause of gum diseasse starts with plaque around the gum line which has bacteria. Plaque needs to be removed by washing your teeth twice a day and flossing between the teeth. If the teeth are not cleaned properly or often enough, and plaque remains, it will cause the gum to pull away from the tooth and allow pockets to form, in turn allowing more bacteria into the pockets and plaque to form below the gumline where everyday cleaning will not remove it. As time passes, the bone around the infected gum and tooth will recede and eventually the tooth will fall out

Who can get gum disease and why?

Some people are suseptible to a severe form of gum disease and it can be hereditory but more often, a mild form of gum disease is experienced. There are some lifestyle factors and other influences that can cause gum disease, the most obvious one is smoking. Other factors are obesity, poor diet (lacking in vitamins and minerals) stress, diabetes and certain medications.

How to recognise the signs of gum disease

  • Bleeding gums when washing your teeth or even when just eating
  • Red, swollen gum especially around where the tooth meets to gums
  • Sensitivity when brushing, and to hot and cold
  • Bad breath
  • Gaps appearing between teeth
  • Receding gums

How can gum disease be treated?

  • Visit to the dentist who will offer advice and information
  • Deep cleaning around the infected teeth to clear out the bacteria from the pockets
  • Education in proper cleaning techniques to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums
  • Flossing with interdental brushes and superfloss
  • Use a good quality small headed tooth brush or an electric tooth brush
  • A mild mouthwash
  • Regular hygiene treatment every 3 or 6 months or as advised by your dentist

What are the benefits ot having treatment

  • Gums not sore or bleeding when you brush
  • Tooth movement stabilizing
  • Easier to eat your favourite foods
  • Less chance of loosing your teeth
  • Fresher breath and greater confidence

If you are worried that you have gum disease, please don't wait but contact a dental professional as soon as possible