Gum disease is often a reaction to a build up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky, soft, colourless film made up of bacteria, which lives off sugars. Inconsistent and/or improper oral hygiene is usually the cause for gum disease. These practises allow the plaque to sit in your mouth and infect your gums. Affected areas tend to be in between the teeth that are often difficult to clean, this can cause them to bleed or appear red and swollen. Left untreated, this condition results in a mild form of gum disease called Gingivitis.
Periodontitis is a more serious condition that causes the gums to recede and ‘pockets’ of infection form resulting in the inflammation around the tissues surrounding the tooth. Periodontitis can destroy both gum tissue and the bone that holds your teeth in place, resulting in teeth to become loose or fall out.
Symptoms to look out for:
- Red, swollen and bleeding gums
- Continuous bad taste or bad breath
- Gums coming away from the teeth
- Loose teeth and changing positions
How is gum disease treated?
By cleaning and scaling the teeth to remove the plaque and tartar (harden plaque) and teeth stains where necessary.
R Dental clinic provide a further option to visit our dental hygienists. You will be provided with a 30 minutes consultation, and in depth advice on how to look after your gums and teeth this also covers diet advice. Click here to find out more about the private hygienist service.
If the gum diseases (periodontitis) is severe or advanced, the dentist or hygienist will refer you to a periodontal specialist who will assess your condition, treat it, and monitor you for progress.
How can I prevent gum disease?
- Brushing: While holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, make small circular movements on each tooth. Clean the inside and biting surfaces along with the front of your teeth. Aim to brush for approximately two minutes.
- Flossing: Apply dental floss between your teeth with a back and forth motion to remove any stuck debris. Remember to work the floss under the gum too.
- Interdental brushing: These fine brushes clean the areas between your teeth your regular toothbrush can’t reach. Daily use is recommended to remove plaque and other debris. Interdental brushes are used to clean between teeth.