Are your gums sore, swollen, or tender? Do your gums bleed when you floss or brush? Is bad breath a constant issue?

These are all signs that gum disease may be an issue for you. Gum disease is sneaky and hard to diagnose in early stages; which is why seeing a dentist is important.

We think now is the perfect time to reinstate that visiting the dentist every six months is so crucial for maintaining good oral health and catching onto dental issues early. Even if you have excellent dental health, visiting for regular checkups is still important.

Now, please read on to find out more information on gum disease!

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gum tissues, which is typically caused by bad oral hygiene due to a lack of cleaning and flossing. Not cleaning properly, allows for bacteria to thrive and multiply inside your mouth. Which in effect increases chances of tooth decay and gums becoming infected.

Early gum disease is called Gingivitis and can be treated by cleaning and flossing; while more advanced gum disease, is known as Periodontitis and requires dental treatment.

Symptoms of early gum disease (Gingivitis)

  • Redness of swelling in the gums
  • Bleeding gums, especially while brushing or flossing

Gum disease slowly damages the gums and forms pockets between the gum and roots of the teeth; where bacteria can become trapped leading to more serious dental issues.

Do not let these symptoms stop you from brushing and flossing, as good oral hygiene is the way to reverse these symptoms. Please use a soft bristled toothbrush and take care while thoroughly cleaning.

Symptoms of Periodontitis

  • Bleeding and swollen gums: Gums infected by gum disease are tender, swollen and will bleed; usually while brushing, flossing and eating.
  • Bad breath and or taste: Doesn’t go away after cleaning and is usually the result of plaque and toxin buildups.
  • Receding gums: The tissue around the tooth is eroding, eventually exposing the roots to bacteria.
  • Tenderness while chewing and biting: Tooth sensitivity can be a sign and is caused by the loss of enamel, exposing the underlying surface of the tooth.
  • Loose or moved teeth: Gum recession and pockets overtime will loosen teeth as the structure is eroding.
  • Tooth loss: Gum recession and damages to the root and bone can eventually cause loss of teeth.

Periodontitis is the advanced form of gum disease and has many signs and symptoms and can lead to more serious health concerns if left untreated.

The periodontium is the name of the group of structures that surround your teeth by keeping them firmly in place; and the gum is the protective layer for the periodontium.

Pockets in the gums caused by gingivitis, trap bacteria which leads to periodontitis; the inflammation of the periodontium, which also affects the cementum (covering of the tooth root) and the bone that connects the tooth root to the jawbone.

These bacteria will cause damage to the periodontium and can cause bone loss and damage, larger gaps, receding gums, loose teeth and eventually loss of teeth.

Treatment from a dental professional for periodontitis is required, as simple brushing and flossing at home will not reverse the damage.

How to treat gum disease (gingivitis and periodontal disease)

Early gum disease can be resolved by thorough brushing and flossing at home to maintain a healthy mouth and kill bad bacteria.

Later forms of gum disease cannot be remedied at home. Dental treatment is required to fix issues caused by periodontitis. The dentist will create a treatment plan for you.

How to prevent gum disease

Gum disease is easy to prevent by practicing good oral hygiene habits and minimising plaque build ups.

We recommend:

  • Brushing twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing once a day to remove debris between teeth
  • Mouthwashes are great at eliminating bad bacteria
  • Visiting the dentist every 6 months for a checkup and professional clean
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Avoiding consuming too much sugar

If you still need more information or think you suffer from early signs of gum disease, our friendly team at All About Teeth in Townsville is here for you. Please feel free to ask any questions or book in an appointment by contacting us here.