WHAT IS GUM DISEASE AND HOW TO PREVENT IT?

Teeth are held in place by healthy tissues and bones surrounding them. Gum disease affects the attachment between teeth and gums and can range from very mild, showing almost no signs, to a severe condition where gums can become swollen, start to bleed and, over time, could result in tooth loss and eventually lead to bone loss. 

 Burlington dentist - the stages of gum disease

 Burlington-dentist

How Gum Disease Occurs

Gum disease begins with the formation of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a clear, sticky substance that contains bacteria (germs). Bacteria and plaque form on your teeth daily and it attaches to your teeth just below the edge of your gums.


signs of GUM DISEASE

Gum disease begins with the formation of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a clear, sticky substance that contains bacteria (germs). Bacteria and plaque form on your teeth daily and it attaches to your teeth just below the edge of your gums. 

If plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, it eventually turns to tartar, also known as calculus. Tartar is calcification of bacteria on your teeth and once tartar starts to build - the best way to remove it is by visiting your dentist or dental hygienist. 


Plaque and tartar can cause an infection resulting in red or swollen gums which are the early stages of gum disease known as gingivitis. Click here to learn more about gingivitis.

Over time, the bacteria that causes the infection breaks down the gum tissue which affects how tissue attaches to the tooth and, if left untreated, can also lead to the breaking down of the bone that supports your teeth. Gums may bleed during brushing, and swollen gums may change colour, but not necessarily be sore. This may lead to other issues such as infection of a tooth root canal.

When bone starts to break down around your tooth, and your gums shrink, your teeth may become loose and may lead to tooth loss. At this point, it turns to form of gum disease called Periodontitis. With time your healthy gums can turn into chronic periodontitis.

Periodontitis.jpg

Factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease:

  • Poor oral hygiene and skipping teeth brushing or flossing;

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco products;

  • genetics;

  • crooked teeth that are difficult to keep clean;

  • pregnancy;

  • Taking medication, especially steroid type of medication;

  • cancer therapy;

  • oral contraceptives.

Medical research linking overall health and periodontal disease is ongoing. Some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with other health conditions such as lower immune system, heart disease, diabetes or stroke.


GOOD TO KNOW FACTS


The good news is that gum disease can almost always be prevented. Brush your teeth, floss regularly and visit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings. Even if gum disease has started it can be reversed with early treatment by your dental professional.

AT THE EARLY STAGES, GUM DISEASE MAY NOT BE APPARENT RIGHT AWAY. GUM DISEASE IN THE LATE STAGES CAN CAUSE SEVERE BONE LOSS.

If you have concerns please call our office to book your appointment or you can send us an email at team@lakefrontfamilydental.com


gum disease treatment

Teeth cleaning is a part of regular oral hygiene and is usually done by a dental hygienist. The goal of teeth cleaning is to remove plaque that accumulates on your teeth and prevents cavities (dental caries), gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Your regular teeth brushing routine and flossing is also an important part of your oral hygiene, however during your teeth cleaning with dental hygienists hardened deposits on your teeth (tartar) will be removed as brushing and flossing along won't do it.

If you are wearing dentures and lost your natural teeth, then teeth cleaning can be supplemented by a denture cleaner.


Periodontitis


Gingivitis


HOW TO CHECK YOUR GUMS (gum disease symptoms):

·        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 disease is the most common reason why adults lose their teeth. 

REMEMBER, you can prevent gum disease with good oral health and professional cleanings.