Understanding and preventing gum disease

Are you looking after your gums?

Different types of gum disease are often lumped together as one ailment, and while it's true that there are several different stages of periodontal infections, there are actually multiple types. What they all share is a set of symptoms and a common cause. Many people suffer from gum disease, but it can be quickly treated or prevented by understanding the underlying cause and maintaining good oral health. 

In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most prevalent forms of periodontal disease, how they are caused and what you can do to keep your gums healthy. 

One of the easiest ways to identify gingivitis is when your gums start to bleed when you brush or floss them.

What is gum disease?

The most common form of gum disease is gingivitis, a condition caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. When excess plaque and tartar form on the surfaces of your teeth, that bacteria becomes irritating to your gums, which can swell and become inflamed. One of the easiest ways to identify gingivitis is when your gums start to bleed when you brush or floss them. Many people dismiss this as 'normal', but it's always worth checking out the underlying condition. 

The good news is that gingivitis is easily reversible, and the damage can be repaired through brushing, flossing and a visit to your dental hygienist. If left untreated, gum disease can progress to more severe conditions, which can ultimately result in tooth loss, changes in teeth position, deeper gum pockets and even bone degradation.

Flossing is a great way to keep your gums healthy. Flossing is a great way to keep your gums healthy.

How to prevent gum disease

As with all facets of oral care, the best treatment for gum disease is prevention. Taking good care of your teeth and gums is a small price to pay for a healthy mouth, and if you're unsure of how to clean your gums or what brush to use, be sure to contact your dentist and find out.

Of course, if you do begin to develop symptoms of gingivitis, or bleeding gums, it's always best to seek advice as soon as possible. It's also worth keeping a few factors in mind that might increase your risk of developing gum disease. These include smoking, diabetes, certain illnesses and even your genetics. If you know there is a history of gum disease in your family; it's always a good idea to be extra vigilant when it comes to oral care and especially flossing. 

For more information on gum disease and how to prevent it, be sure to get in touch with City Dentists today.