Gum disease is the swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main types of gum disease:
This is when the gums around the teeth become red. Often the swollen gums bleed when you brush or floss them.
Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease; this affects the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone fixing the teeth to the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. In severe cases, teeth may eventually fall out.
Studies have shown that up to 80% of the adult population may suffer from gum disease. It is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
All gum disease is caused by plaque and hardened plaque called tartar.
People who smoke are more likely to have gum disease. Smokers' gum disease will get worse more quickly than in people who do not smoke. To make things worse, smokers may not get the warning signs of bleeding gums as much as non-smokers.
The first sign of gum disease is blood on your toothbrush or floss when you clean your teeth. Your breath may also become unpleasant. In severe gum disease, you may notice loose teeth, gaps appearing between teeth or pain from you gums.
Gum disease usually develops slowly and painlessly so you do not notice the damage it is doing. Over a number of years, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost. Early diagnosis allows for simpler and more successful treatment.
Our hygienist will usually clean your teeth thoroughly to remove the tartar. You'll also be shown how to remove plaque successfully yourself. This may take a number of sessions so that all parts of your mouth are treated.
Periodontal disease is never cured, but it can be controlled as long as you keep up the home care you have been taught. Any further loss of bone will be very slow and it may stop altogether.