When it comes to having great oral health, it’s not only about your teeth, your gums are just as important! As the tissue surrounding and securing your teeth, your gums play a major role. So, it pays to be on the lookout for the signs of gum disease, practise great oral hygiene and regularly visit your dentist.
In this article, we explain what gum disease is, what the signs of gum disease are and how to prevent it.
What Is Gum Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the soft tissues that make up your gums. In most cases, poor oral hygiene is a major contributor to the onset of gum disease. When plaque builds up on your teeth and along and under your gum line, it hardens and becomes tartar. This is normally how and when gum disease starts.
Stages Of Gum Disease
You may have heard the terms “gingivitis” and “periodontitis” before. Gum disease has several stages, varying in severity. Whilst the terms “gingivitis” and “periodontitis” are used interchangeably, they refer to different stages of gum disease.
An excess of bacteria-filled plaque on your teeth can result in your gums becoming irritated and inflamed. This is what we refer to as gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. Gingivitis is a common condition which many people are unaware they have.
Catching gum disease in its early stages is important. It makes it easier to control the infection and restore your gums back to good health by practising good oral hygiene.
Gingivitis, left untreated, has the potential to develop into periodontitis, the advanced stage of gum disease. Periodontitis causes your gum tissue to pull away from your teeth. This creates crevices for more bacteria to get trapped, leading to further infection. Periodontitis is usually painful and can cause long-term damage to your teeth and their support base. So, it’s important not to ignore this dental condition.
As periodontitis is one of the more advanced stages of gum disease, it is difficult to treat at home by yourself. Dentist and dental hygienist intervention is needed to help stop further spread of infection. Gum disease, in its advanced stages, affects more than just your oral health. Your overall health can be severely impacted by gum disease too.
Signs of Gum Disease
Like the stages and severity of gum disease vary, there can be varying signs of gum disease too. It’s important to note that in its early stages, the signs of gum disease can be hard to spot. This is why keeping up with regular dental check-ups is super important! Your dentist knows what to look for.
Some of the typical signs of gum disease include:
- Swollen and/or red gums
- Gum tenderness (sometimes painful teeth)
- Bleeding gums (when brushing teeth or flossing)
- Persistent bad breath
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
If you notice any of these signs of gum disease, it’s important that you consult your dentist. They will be able to assess your teeth and gums to determine if you need periodontal treatment.
Ways To Prevent Gum Disease
Prevention is always better than cure! And the good news is, gum disease is preventable. It’s also treatable, though treatment becomes more complex as it develops in severity. So, it’s important to have your preventative measures in place.
Let’s take a look at what some of those are:
- Keep up with routine dentist visits
- Have regular professional teeth cleans
- Brush teeth twice daily
- Floss each day
- Consume a healthy, well-rounded diet
- Reduce/stop tobacco use
As mentioned earlier in this article, the signs of gum disease are not always obvious. You might think your oral hygiene routine is up to scratch and your teeth and gums are happy and healthy when they aren’t. This is why it’s vital to have a dentist you trust monitoring your oral health, even if you’re ticking all the other preventative boxes.
How Boon Dental Can Help
Boon Dental is your family-friendly dentist in Ropes Crossing and Wentworth Point. Your and your family’s oral health is important to us. We genuinely care. Our dentists take a holistic approach to oral health and are firm believers in preventative dentistry. This helps to avoid major dental issues that are painful and require costly treatment down the track.
Routine Dental Check-Up Appointments
Having a dental check-up at Boon Dental is a great way to ensure your teeth and gums are in good health. Your dentist will conduct a thorough oral assessment and ensure that there are no signs of gum disease or other issues present. If your teeth and gums do present signs of gum disease or other dental problems, your dentist can prescribe treatment quickly and stop it in its tracks.
Professional Scale and Cleans
During a professional dental clean, your dentist will remove the plaque from the hard to reach places in your mouth. They will also remove the tartar build-up on your teeth and along and under your gum line, that only dental equipment can effectively remove. This leaves your mouth feeling fresh and clean and helps prevent and treat gum disease.
Having a regular scale and clean is important for maintaining good oral health and avoiding having signs of gum disease show up. Our dentists recommend that you have a scale and clean roughly every 6 months along with a thorough oral assessment.
Have you noticed any signs of gum disease in your mouth? Contact our Ropes Crossing or Wentworth Point dental practices to have a check-up with one of our dentists.