Gum disease is an infection of the gums.
It can occur on a single tooth or multiple teeth with varying severity. It is caused by bacteria that work on food debris to produce harmful toxins and acids. This then begins to attack both teeth and gums.
This causes the gums to react and swell. The same bacteria that cause tooth decay will also infect the gums.
The early stages of gum disease are also known as “gingivitis” and are notorious for being a “silent” infection, as you do not experience any pain or noticeable swelling until the advanced stages.
Signs of Gum Disease:
- Red gums
- Gums that easily bleed
- Bleeding on tooth brushing
- Swollen gums
- Bad smell coming from the mouth
- Painful gums
- Loose mobile teeth
Gingivitis is the initial stages of the infection. Once the infection remains undisturbed due to poor oral hygiene, then it slowly advances to become known as Periodontal Disease. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums.
When the gums deteriorate and the infection spreads to detach the gum from the tooth and bone. It can lead to infection in the bone too.
Therefore both gingivitis and periodontal disease are two ends of a spectrum of gum disease. The infection can range from mild to advanced.
The more advanced the infection or the longer it has remained undisturbed in the mouth, the more difficult and complex is the treatment. Find out more.
Treatment can include:
- Oral Hygiene Instructions with a good home regime to follow.
- Deep cleaning to remove any plaque and tartar that contains the bacteria.
- Advanced treatments with a gum specialist. This can involve gum surgery or laser treatments.
Periodontal disease (infection of the gum and bone around teeth) once thought to be associated with the inevitable consequence of aging has had much research invested in it.
We have now come to learn that there are many risk factors and risk-indicators associated with it. But also, periodontal disease is linked to many other diseases of the body. These include Osteoporosis, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Stroke and Cardiovascular issues.
It has been widely accepted that these diseases may predispose to periodontal disease but only now new evidence is coming about to state the reverse – that periodontal disease may predispose or at least be considered a risk factor for system disease.
Careful Planning for an Ideal Treatment
Since these discoveries we are evaluating chronic oral diseases very carefully since we know that they are interrelated with systemic diseases in an important way. Careful assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning is required if we are to prevent the onset of such conditions.
It is now no longer acceptable to categorize gum disease as an event of old age. We must take further responsibility to eliminate and prevent both the oral condition and its inter-related systemic risk factors.
It is imperative that you regularly see the hygienist and the Specialist Periodontist. They can help to catch the gum disease whilst it is in the early stages. Book an appointment.
If the infection is left and nothing is done about it, then gum disease can advance to cause tooth mobility, pain and eventual loss of tooth.
For this reason we recommend that you have an in-depth Periodontal (Gum) examination carried out so that we can establish good protocols to help you keep your teeth for life.
Next: Periodontal Examination