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Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)

What is gum disease?

Your gums are the foundation supporting your teeth and their health is of primary importance in keeping your teeth in your jaw. Healthy gums prevent teeth from drifting, losing gum coverage and ending up with spaces between them.

Gum disease (infection) starts with the accumulation of plaque and food underneath your gums, which can cause certain bacteria to colonise in these spots over time. This causes disruption of the tissues supporting your teeth to your gums and bone loss around your teeth may also follow.

Who can get gum disease?

Gum disease can happen to anyone at any age, especially if you have not been making oral hygiene a priority. However it is most common in people over the age of 30. There are some groups in the population who are at increased risk, including diabetics, pregnant women, anyone with a poor diet and those taking illicit drugs.

Do I have gum disease?

The following are signs to look out for as they may indicate gum disease:

  • Loosening of teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Swelling and redness (inflammation) of gums
  • Food accumulation underneath gums or between teeth
  • Sensitivity of teeth
  • Constant lingering pain around teeth/gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad taste in mouth

How do I prevent gum disease?

As well as regular check-ups, you need to brush and floss at least twice a day, reducing the build-up of plaque, which is usually the cause of gum disease. Rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash that’s used to treat gingivitis can be helpful, and try to avoid sugary foods and drinks.

If left untreated, gum disease can become a serious problem. Once it is past the earliest stages, professional treatment from your dentist or hygienist is the only way to cure gum disease. If you notice any of these symptoms, the sooner you seek treatment, the better your chances are of saving your teeth and health.

Please contact us today for an appointment if you are worried about gum disease.

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