Your best support act: healthy gums
When we talk about oral health, teeth often take centre stage. It’s easy to overlook gums as a kind of ‘support act’ for teeth. That is, until the early signs of gum disease start to appear. You may not notice gingivitis until it has taken hold. Left unchecked, it can become severe. In some people, gingivitis leads to advanced periodontitis, which can cause tooth loss. It’s important to know the signs.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums. It’s caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque. If detected early, gum disease can be improved. If left to progress, it can affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. Gum disease can occur at any age, but it is most common among adults. Some common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red, puffy, swollen or sore gums
- Bleeding during brushing or flossing
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Signs of infection (pus) between your teeth and gums
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth all the time
Why does gum disease occur?
Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque around the teeth and gums. (Plaque is that sticky substance that is ever-present in your mouth.) Effective daily brushing and flossing will remove the plaque, stopping it from building up around your gum line. If the plaque is not removed property, the plaque hardens, forming a substance called calculus or tartar, and further irritates the gum. Eventually the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth are affected. In severe cases, the teeth can become loose, fall out or must be removed by a dentist.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
There are three stages of gum disease and the treatment varies depending on what stage the disease has advanced.
Stage 1: Gingivitis – gums are mildly inflamed, may appear red or swollen and bleed during brushing. A professional scale and clean is the only way to remove plaque that has built up and hardened into tartar. Following which, damage can be improved with daily brushing and flossing since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected.
Stage 2: Periodontitis – gums begin to separate and recede from the teeth, allowing plaque to move toward the teeth roots, supporting fibres and bone. Proper dental treatment and improved home care can usually help prevent further damage.
Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis – supporting fibres and bone are destroyed. Teeth become loose and may need to be removed if aggressive treatment dentist doesn’t work.
How can I prevent gum disease?
Early detection is the best cure for gum disease before it leads to a much more serious concern. Schedule a check up with an ineedadentist today.