What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that is in plaque, a sticky, colourless film that occurs on your teeth. If the bacteria are not removed through brushing & flossing it can lead to tooth decay & a condition called gingivitis, an early stage of gum (periodontal) disease where the inflammation of the gum affects the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth.
The hard thing about gum disease is that even though it’s a common oral issue it often gets overlooked, it’s also surprisingly sneaky as it doesn’t tend to cause any pain or discomfort.
We tend to focus more on tooth health than gum health therefore regular visits to you friendly team at Haberfield dental practice will help identify the condition early on & avoid the serious consequences, this is the leading cause of tooth loss for adults.
Stages of Gum Disease
Stage one: Gingivitis
As offensive as it sounds, it starts of as an inflammation of the gum tissue, which is caused by a build-up of plaque forming on the teeth and gumline.
Gingivitis is the early stages of gum disease.
If you dentists’ diagnoses you with gingivitis, the treatment options are not very invasive.
With a professional dental cleaning from the team at Haberfield dental practice, followed up by regular brushing and flossing, gingivitis can usually be reversed.
Stage two: bone burrowing
Periodontitis is the advanced form of gum disease. While it can still be treated, your dental professional may have need to use some more invasive processes, like removing germs and plaque from beneath your gumline or scaling and deep cleaning the surfaces of your roots.
The Periodontitis doesn’t just affect your gums. It can also cause tissue and bone loss throughout the mouth.
If this has already occurred, you may be referred to a specialist who is a periodontist which can recommend more advanced procedures that help regenerate the bone and tissue you’ve lost.
What causes Gum Disease?
Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease. These include:
- Poor oral hygiene habits such lack of brushing and flossing daily, make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
- Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during puberty, menopause and pregnancy as they can make gums more sensitive, which makes it easier for gingivitis to develop.
- Illnesses may affect the condition of your gums. This includes diseases such as diabetes, cancer or HIV that interfere with the immune system.
- Bad habits such as smoking make it harder for gum tissue to repair itself.
- Family history of dental disease can be a contributing factor for the development of gingivitis.
How do I Know if I Have Gum Disease?
Firstly, gum disease can occur at any age, but it is most common amongst adults. If spotted in its early stages, gum disease can be improved so see your friendly team at Haberfield Dental Practice if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
- Receding gums (the gum line shrinks away from the tooth making teeth look longer)
- Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender
- Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
- Gums that have separated, or pulled away, from your teeth, creating a pocket
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
Good oral hygiene habits start from an early age therefore its important you consult with your dentist early about the best way to look after for your teeth.
Make an appointment with the team at Haberfield Dental Practice if you think you have any of these signs. They can advise you on how to care for your teeth. They can also professionally remove plaque Including hardened plaque (calculus). Early treatment of periodontitis can save affected teeth.
Where to get help
Please visit your friendly team at Haberfield Dental Practice (02) 9797 8080