Roughly 1 in 5 Australians experience some form of gum disease. When we consume food and drinks, bacteria, saliva and food particles combine to form a clear, sticky substance called plaque. If plaque stays on teeth, it builds up, causing gums to inflame and resulting in gum disease.
Following a good oral hygiene routine that includes brushing twice a day and flossing every day can help you keep plaque at bay and reduce the risk of developing gum disease.
Gingivitis is an early form of gum disease caused by plaque build-up. This is where gums become red and swollen as plaque hardens and begins attacking the supporting gum tissues. While you’re unlikely to experience pain at this point in time, you might see small amounts of blood after flossing or brushing your teeth. Gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene including proper brushing and flossing at home. However, when left untreated it develops into an advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis.
Periodontitis is characterised by receding gums and small pockets of bacteria between teeth and gums. During these later stages of gum disease, it’s common to experience bleeding, gum recession and bone loss. In moderate to severe cases, you experience pain and tooth loss. Periodontitis is irreversible but if caught early enough, we can slow down damage and manage the infection.
If you experience any of these signs and symptoms of gum disease, it is important to book a dental check-up as early as possible. Leaving it too late could mean the difference between saving or extracting a tooth.
The key to treating gum disease is to see a dentist as early as possible. Our experienced dentists can provide professional cleaning and tailored advice on how to brush and floss your teeth in between treatment.
A professional clean involves a deep scaling and root planning and in some cases, minor surgery or a gum graft may be needed to remove bacteria and stop the infection spreading.
Gum disease is a preventable disease that can usually be avoided with regular toothbrushing and flossing, a healthy diet and regular visits to the dentist. If gingivitis is already present, a hygiene treatment at the dental clinic can remove the infection before it progresses further.
There are two main stages of gum disease. Gingivitis is the early stage, characterised by sore, swollen or bleeding gums. If gingivitis isn't treated, it can develop into periodontitis. This advanced stage of gum disease can cause permanent damage to gums and tissues connecting the teeth to the jaws, eventually leading to tooth loss.
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that can build up on teeth and form plaque. When bacteria reaches the gum, it can cause an infection that the body fights with inflammation, leading to swelling and tenderness of the gums.