Posted in Health

Understanding Gum Disease

Understanding Gum Disease Posted on April 4, 2024

Gum disease is called periodontal disease and this is quite a common condition that affects the supporting structures of the teeth and the gums. Gingivitis is the mild form of it which includes inflammation of the gum. The more severe form of gum disease will lead to many health complications including tooth loss.

Bacterial plaque is the primary cause of gum disease.

This is a sticky film that forms on the surface of teeth and the gumline. If this is not removed through brushing and flossing, it will harden into tartar. And tartar will harbour even more bacteria leading to the gums to be inflamed. With time, the tartar and plaque build-up will trigger an inflammatory response in the gums causing gum disease. This is another reason why you need to go for regular dental check-ups at the dentist Redland Bay because they will conduct professional dental cleaning to get rid of this build-up. They will also be able to see the early stages of gum disease and start treatment. Some of the other factors that can lead to gum disease are smoking, poor oral hygiene, genetic predisposition to the condition, certain medications and systemic diseases like diabetes.

There are several stages for gum disease

And each stage will have its own set of symptoms and oral health implications. Gingivitis is the first stage and this is where you will experience swollen, red and bleeding gums. The damage is reversible at this stage with professional dental care and proper oral hygiene. But if this is not treated, it can progress into periodontitis which is a more advanced stage where the inflammation spreads below the gumline. When this happens, the supporting structures of the teeth that includes connective tissue and bone are damaged. If there is no intervention, you will experience tooth loss and other complications. It is important that you understand the signs of gum disease so that it can be detected early on and you can obtain timely intervention. Your gums will be red, swollen and tender. When you brush, it can cause your gums to bleed. In some cases, you will see receding gums and it can cause tooth sensitivity. There can also be pus between the teeth and gums. You may also notice that your teeth are shifting or becoming loose. If you wear dentures, you will notice that there are changes in its fit. You need to consult a dentist for prompt evaluation if you notice these symptoms.

There will be a comprehensive dental examination carried out when diagnosing gum disease.

The dentist will carry out a visual inspection of the gums and measure the pocket depths which are the spaces between the gums and teeth. There will also be dental X-rays taken to evaluate the extent of bone loss. The severity of the condition will be taken into account when choosing treatment. There will be a professional dental cleaning done so that plaque and tartar build-up can be removed. To remove bacteria along the gumline, scaling and root planing will be done.