Healthy gums are pink, don’t bleed and support the teeth firmly within the jaw bone. Periodontal Disease is gum disease. Gum disease is one of the major causes of tooth loss in adults and is caused by plaque attacking the gums and teeth.
Plaque is a sticky film which collects naturally around the gums. When it hardens it is called tartar. Gum disease is caused by the build up of plaque and tartar around the teeth. The effects of the disease vary enormously from a little bleeding when brushing to loose teeth and eventually tooth loss.
Do some people have worse gum disease than others?
If plaque and tartar are allowed to build up over time then the effects of the gum disease will be worse. Resistance to gum disease varies from person to person.
This explains why some people have a lot of plaque and tartar but little gum disease whilst others have very little plaque and tartar but severe gum disease.
This susceptibility to gum disease may be inherited from our parents. Other factors such as smoking, diabetes or stress may also make gum disease worse.
What are the warning signs of gum disease?
- Red swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Bad breath
- In advanced cases teeth may become loose
How is gum disease treated?
Your dentist or hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth with special instruments and show you ways in which further build up can be prevented, for example by demonstrating the correct method of tooth brushing, interdental brushes or flossing and so on.
In the more serious cases they will take recordings of the levels of gum disease on each tooth so that progress can be monitored. In the most extreme cases gum surgery can be carried out but this is unusual.
Don’t ignore the early warning sign and don’t stop brushing if your gums bleed. Come and see us for expert advice.