We’ll be the first to admit that gum disease doesn’t sound like something you really want to be talking about. But, the best thing you can do to avoid gum disease and the unpleasant symptoms like sensitive teeth and gums, is to do just that – talk about what is and how to prevent it.
What is gum disease?
Periodontitis or more commonly called gum disease begins when bacteria grow in your in your mouth, and starts to destroy the tissue that surrounds your teeth.
Gum disease is not something you can cure once you have it. You can either choose to prevent it, or manage it as best as you can should it arise. This is why you should read on.
What causes gum disease?
Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. Plaque develops when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) such as milk, soft drinks, raisins, cakes, or lollies are not brushed off teeth, or removed by flossing. This is why we always recommend regular check ups and clean to avoid plaque build up.
There are other things that can cause gum disease.
- Hormonal changes: This can happen during pregnancy, puberty, menopause and monthly menstruation. At these times gums are more sensitive, which makes it easier for gum disease to develop.
- Illnesses: When your immune system is weak gum disease develops more easily. Eg. in the case of cancer, diabetes or HIV.
- Medications: Any medicine that lessens the flow of saliva can be aid plaque build up, as saliva is a natural protector of teeth and gums. Always ask your doctor or dentist if are unsure of the side effects of any prescribed medication.
- Smoking: Smoking weakens your gums, making it susceptible to gum disease.
- Family history of dental disease: Genetics can play a role in how your gums function.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
We wanted to give you a comprehensive list of the most common symptoms of gum disease, so that if you recognise any of them, you can call our friendly team of dentists. The sooner you do this, the more chance we have of minimising the damage to your mouth in the future.
The symptoms of gum disease that you should look out for include:
- Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
- Sensitive teeth
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth that you can’t seem to get rid of
- Gums that seen to be receding and you notice more of your teeth showing
- Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures
Even if you don’t notice any symptoms, you may still have some degree of gum disease. That is why only your dentist can check and see what is really going on inside your mouth. If you have any concerns, please call us or better still make appointments for regular check ups.
Symptoms of sensitive teeth
Sensitive teeth are typically the result of exposed tooth roots, linked to gum disease. If you have sensitive teeth you might feel pain when you eat or drink hot or cold foods. You may also experience pain when you floss and brush. If you are experiencing these symptoms, then please contact us for a check up, and some advice on managing sensitive teeth. In the meantime, small amount of Ibuprofen will help ease the pain.
Need advice on managing sensitive teeth?
We are here to help at anytime, and can answer any questions you have about gum disease and the resulting sensitive teeth, call or book an appointment today!