Gum disease is an infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth. Infection leads to a red, swollen and tender area. This area often bleeds when the teeth are brushed or the tender area is touched.
How does gum disease come about?
- Gum disease comes about when large amounts of bacteria branch together to form a sticky substance called plaque. This plaque lives where the gum and the teeth meet and can cause extreme irritation leading to a red, swollen and tender area. As the area becomes more swollen, the gums separate from the teeth leading to the development of a pocket where more dental plaque lives and eventually damages the gum and kills the bone around your tooth.
There are a number of signs and symptoms that may indicate you have gum disease:
- Dark red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Pain when you bite on food
- Gums that look like they are low down on the teeth
- Sensitive or loose teeth
- Smelly breath
Prevention at home
- Brush where the teeth and gums meet, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Change your toothbrush when the bristles become flattened.
- Clean between your teeth with floss or interdental brushes everyday.
- Avoid sugary snacks between meals
- Do not smoke.
- Visit your own dentist and dental hygienist regularly.
As dentists, we often carry out/subscribe the following treatments/prescription when dealing with gum disease:
- A thorough scale and polish
- Root planning (the cleaning of bacteria from the roots of your teeth).
- Antibiotics (to treat any infection)
- Extraction (to remove affected tooth or teeth)
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or simply feel like an oral health review is overdue, book an appointment with one of our general dentists here.