What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as Gingivitis and Periodontal disease, is inflammation caused by bacterial growth in the mouth around the tooth and along the gum line. Unfortunately, this preventable disease can cause loss of teeth if left untreated.
Is Gum Disease common?
Despite being preventable, gingivitis is quite common. An estimated 3 out of 4 Australian adults have gingivitis, the earliest form of gum disease.
What are the Stages of Gum Disease?
There are four general stages of gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to the more serious condition of periodontitis.
Stage 1 - Red, Puffy, or Receding Gums
Healthy gums are pink and firm. If your gums become red, puffy/swollen, tender to the touch or blood starts appearing frequently in the sink when you’re brushing your teeth, chances are that you have gingivitis.
If you notice receding gums or gums that pull away from your teeth, this is another classic sign of gum disease or periodontitis. These are all signs that proper oral care is needed.
Stage 2 - Bleeding Gums
Common as it may seem to be, it’s never natural to see bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. You may think it’s because you’re brushing too hard, but the frequent gum bleeding is a likely sign that you have gingivitis.
As plaque and tartar stay on your teeth, the gingiva becomes more irritated, causing your gums to become swollen, red, inflamed, and tender. These conditions cause gums to bleed easily, especially while brushing or flossing. Brushing twice daily and using an antiseptic mouthwash are important steps to stop bleeding gums.
Stage 3 - Bad Breath
Bad breath can also be an indicator of early-stage gum disease. Usually caused by plaque buildup on the tongue, bad breath is a sign that plaque and bacteria aren’t being properly removed.
Stage 4 - Pain, Sensitivity and Other Advanced Signs
If the conditions in the mouth aren’t addressed, the symptoms of gingivitis may get worse and progress to periodontitis. Pain when chewing, sensitivity to hot and cold drinks, receding gums, and loose teeth are all signs of more advanced gum disease like moderate or advanced periodontitis.
The Impact of Gum Disease
If not addressed, gingivitis can progress and develop into the more serious (non-reversible) stage of gum disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis attacks gums, bone and the connective tissue that holds teeth in place, eventually loosening teeth over time to the point that they could fall out. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss.
See Your Dentist Regularly
By coming to see Gentle Dental at least once every six months is a great way to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
Professional cleanings and routine exams can prevent most oral health issues like gum disease. But, if you are diagnosed with gum disease, our dentist may recommend periodontal ( gum disease) treatment.
Depending on the amount of tartar build-up, and how deep under the gums it resides. The treatment is carried out under local anaesthetic, over two, 30-90 minute sessions.
We aim to nurse your gums back to health, and we will work with you to develop a suitable oral care plan that is designed to keep your gums healthy for the long term.