What is gum disease?
Most simply, gum disease can be defined as an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. To a certain extent most people have a small amount of gum disease however poor oral hygiene, dietary and lifestyle habits can lead to more significant disease and symptoms.
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. This starts when the bacteria in the mouth feed of food debris and forms dental plaque that sticks to the surface of the teeth and under the gums. If this plaque is not cleaned with regular brushing and flossing it can harden forming calculus which irritates and infects the gums.
Gum disease in most cases is a silent and painless disease as it can often be quite hard to find out whether or not you have it. And often by the time you realise it may be too late. These are some of the common symptoms that you should look out for.
- Red swollen or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Bleeding gums – especially after tooth brushing or flossing
There are 4 main things to do to prevent gum disease.
1. Brush twice a day every day.
Brushing helps to remove bacteira from in the groove between your gums and teeth which cause the disease
2. Floss once a day
Flossing helps to remove plaque and bacteira from in between your teeth and lower into the gums in areas that your brush cannot reach.
3. Maintaining a low sugar diet
Maintaining a low sugar diet for both food and drinks helps to limit the amount of available food in your mouth that the bacteria feed off.
4. Get Professional help
No matter how well you brush or floss small amounts of disease-causing bacteria will always remain in your mouth. This is when you need a professional touch so specialised equipment can be used to ensure all the plaque and bacteria is removed.
It is vital to remember that leaving gum disease too late can cause irreversible damage. If you think you have gum disease, the best thing you can do is see a dentist for professional treatment. Dentists can perform a process called scaling which involves removing calculus and tartar from both above and below the gum line. We also have many other treatment options which may include medicated mouthwashes or antibiotics.