What is Gum Disease?
Healthy teeth held in their place by the healthy bone and the tissue surrounding them, together they provide support for your teeth to stay firmly in their place. Gums attach to your teeth just below the edge of the gums.
Gum disease affects attachment between the teeth and your gums and it can range from very mild and show almost no signs to a severe condition where gums can become swollen, start to bleed, and over time you could experience tooth and bone loss.
How Gum Disease Occurs
Gum diseases begin with the formation of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a clear, sticky substance that contains bacteria (germs). Plaque forms on your teeth daily and it attaches to your teeth just below the edge of your gums.
If plaque or bacteria is not removed daily by brushing twice a day and flossing, plaque eventually turns into tartar, also known as calculus. Tartar is a calcification of bacteria on your teeth and once tartar starts to build - the only way to remove it is by visiting your dentist.
When enough tartar builds up on your teeth, it can become infected and usually appears as red or swollen gums, that is the early stage of a gum disease, known as gingivitis. Click here to learn more about gingivitis.
Overtime, the bacteria that causes the infection, breaks down the gum tissue, which affects how your tissue attaches to the tooth and if left untreated it can also lead to the breaking down of the bone. At this point your gums may bleed during brushing, swollen gums can change colour, and not necessary be sore.
When your bone starts to break down around your tooth and your gums shrink, your teeth may become loose and in danger of falling out. At this point gum disease turns into Periodontitis.
Good to know FACTS
The good news is that gum disease can almost always be prevented!
By brushing and flossing twice a day and regular dentist visits
Even if gum disease has started it can be reversed with early treatment
At the early stages, gum disease may not be readily visible. You might not even know that you have it. Your dentist is a trained professional who can help you with treatment of most gum diseases. Unless gum disease is in the late stages or you suffered a severe bone loss, your regular dentist will take care of your treatment. Otherwise, you will be referred to a Periodontist for more advanced treatment.
If you have concerns please call our office to book your appointment or you can send us an email at email@example.com
Check Your Gums
- Gums that are red and swollen around your teeth
- A change of colour of your gums
- Bleeding gums, blood on your toothbrush after brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath (just won't go away) - check our bad breath article on our blog for more info
- Teeth that are sensitive for no reason
- Puffy, shiny and sore gums
- A taste of metal in your mouth
If you notice any symptoms see your dentist. It should be noted that gum diseases are the most common reason why adults lose their teeth.
Just remember, gum diseases are preventable and treatable at early stages. Saving your teeth should ALWAYS be your goal.