Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.
Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed. The most common form of gum disease is gingivitis. It is distinguished from the more severe type, periodontitis, by the depth of gum pockets and bone loss.
Gum Disease Symptoms
Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating is a common symptom of gum disease. While it does not indicate the level of severity or complexity of treatment, it warrants concern as it may compromise your general health and your gum disease could worsen. The absence of bleeding when brushing, flossing, or eating is not an accurate indicator that gum disease is not present. Bleeding when the gum pockets are measured is indicative of gum disease but not its severity.
Gum recession, which results in teeth looking longer is a symptom of gum disease.
Loose teeth and shifting tooth positions where teeth no longer touch its neighbour are symptoms of severe gum disease.
Tooth loss is a consequence of gum disease. The presence of any of these symptoms warrants a complete examination for gum disease by your dentist.
Health Conditions and Gum Disease
Gum disease is associated with many health conditions. For example heart attacks and strokes are more common when gum disease exists. Gum disease complicates blood sugar management for the diabetic and high blood sugar worsens gum disease.
What Can You Do about Gum Disease?
Early detection and treatment of gum disease can help you preserve your teeth and smile. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend the best treatment for you.
Brushing and flossing every day is a very important behaviour to prevent decay and gum disease. You should develop the habit of brushing and flossing every day.
Visiting a Dental Hygienist on a regular basis to remove any hard deposits around the gum line.
Smoking is a risk factor for gum disease, oral cancer and many other diseases. It also adversely affects healing and increases the likelihood of an infection following any type of surgery.
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About gum treatments … Click here
About the role of the dental hygienist … Click here
Check our article on Gum disease: How we can protect ourselves
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