Our gums play a hugely important role in our overall dental health, and help to keep our teeth firmly in place, strong and healthy.
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis is classed as a serious infection in the gums that can impact your gums, teeth and jawbone. A build up of bacteria and plaque can lead to inflammation of the gums and eventually affect the bone that supports and surrounds yourteeth. It’s also an incredibly uncomfortable condition, which is usually accompanied with bleeding, skin discolouration and bad breath.
When plaque isn’t removed, it becomes tartar, a hard bacterial substance which sits on the teeth and gums. Because of it’s hard nature, tartar can’t be removed by brushing and flossing, and needs to be removed by a Dentist. If left untreated, periodontitis or gum disease has serious repercussions, so it’s important to keep your gums healthy and visit the dentist for regular check-ups in order to avoid any nasty issues.
The stages of gum disease
Gum disease or has different levels of severity based on how long it’s left untreated. A more common form of gum disease, in it’s earliest stages is known as gingivitis. During this early stage, the gum disease can be reversed as it hasn’t yet affected the bone or connective tissue holding your teeth in place.
Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis is left untreated, and a swollen pocket forms on the gumline that encouraged plaque to grow in this area. Unfortunately at this stage, irreversible damage has been caused to the gums.
Advance periodontitis is the most serious form of gum disease where the connective tissue and fibres holding teeth in place have been severely damaged. This can cause teeth to easily shift, and even fall out. Teeth may also need to be removed by your dentist at this stage.
Signs that you may have gum disease
To avoid gum disease advancing further and causing irreparable damage, it’s important to pay attention to any early signs and visit your dentist as soon as possible if you are experiencing them.
Common symptoms of gum disease include:
Treatment and prevention of gum disease
Depending on the severity of the gum disease, treatments can include an intensive clean at the Dentist, or even surgery. In severe cases teeth may need to be removed and replaced with implants or dentures.
The most important step to avoiding gum disease is ensuring you don’t have plaque build-up. A consistent dental routine of brushing and flossing twice per day is a great way to avoid gum disease in the long term. Some anti-bacterial mouthwash products can also help to keep your gums clean and healthy.
Plaque can build up in nooks around the mouth that can’t be reached by regular brushing and flossing, which is why it’s so important to visit your dentist every 6 months in order to have a full professional clean.
Book in your next appointment at www.myaffordabledentists.com.au