What causes gum disease?
Plaque is a soft and sticky substance that accumulates on your teeth. It contains millions of bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. If it is not removed regularly through brushing and flossing, it causes irritation and inflammation to the gums - commonly known as gingivitis. In some people, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis (gum disease). Periodontitis is a condition where bacteria causes inflammation of the gums and destroys the bone structure supporting your teeth. Unfortunately, most people experience very little symptoms until the disease is very advanced and teeth become loose.
Heavy plaque and calculus build up causing gum disease.
Why should it be treated?
Untreated gum disease eventually causes tooth loss as teeth become so loose they need to be removed. While the damage caused by gum disease is irreversible, your dentist can work towards stabilising your condition and preventing further damage. If you notice any symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding or swollen gums, bad breath or visible build up on your teeth, you should see your dentist as soon as possible for assessment and to discuss your treatment options.
How is it treated?
Treatment of gum disease involves removing the build up of plaque and tartar from your teeth via a deep clean. The dentist will show you how to brush and floss effectively and recommend a suitable time frame for you to return for maintenance. For patients with very advanced gum disease a few visits may be required to thoroughly clean your teeth with the option of a local anaesthetic.
Mild calculus and plaque build up before cleaning.
Teeth after professional after cleaning.
Prevention is better than cure
Luckily gum problems can be avoided by maintaining good oral hygiene habits on a daily basis and seeing your dentist regularly. If you already have gum disease your dentist will recommend a suitable treatment plan to manage your condition and then it is up to you to keep your gums healthy by brushing and flossing regularly.