If left untreated, gum disease can advance and cause some serious health issues.

Gum disease is, unfortunately, a common issue for many people. If left untreated, the condition can cause some serious health problems and even lead to bone and tooth loss over time. So, what exactly is gum disease? And how does it progress?

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is a condition that occurs when plaque is left to build up on the teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film that contains harmful bacteria that can cause infection and inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, gum disease can cause some serious oral health issues, including receding gums and tooth loss. The condition has also been linked with other general health problems, including diabetes and heart disease.

The good news is that gum disease can often be prevented with proper oral hygiene habits and regular dental cleanings.

What are the stages of gum disease?

In its earliest stage, gum disease is known as gingivitis. This stage of the disease often goes unnoticed, but some possible warning signs include swollen, tender or bleeding gums. If you notice these symptoms, it is advisable that you see your dentist as soon as possible so that the issue can be addressed before it gets worse.

If left untreated, gingivitis can advance into periodontitis. This stage occurs when plaque extends below the gumline and leads to serious inflammation. Periodontitis can lead to receding gums and cause the gaps around the teeth to become deeper and more prone to infection. Infections can cause damage to the bone and even cause the teeth to shift and loosen.

If periodontitis is not addressed, advanced periodontitis can occur. In this case, any symptoms are likely to worsen, and you might notice that your teeth feel loose or particularly sensitive. You may also experience swelling of the gums, as well as pain.

Can you prevent gum disease?

Fortunately, gum disease can often be prevented with proper oral hygiene habits, such as regular brushing and flossing — this helps to get rid of plaque and keeps harmful bacteria at bay. It is also advisable that you eat a balanced diet and limit your consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks.

Try to see your dentist at least every six months. They will be able to identify any early warning signs of gum disease. Your dentist will also perform a thorough dental cleaning to remove any plaque and tartar that accumulated on your teeth and along the gumline.

Can gum disease be treated?

If your dentist identifies any of the signs of gum disease, they will let you know how to address it. The treatment that is most appropriate for you will depend on the stage at which the gum disease has been identified and your overall oral health.

If you have gingivitis, it is often possible to reverse the damage by improving your oral hygiene. By removing plaque and preventing it from building up, you can put an end to the early stage of gum disease and prevent any further damage from affecting your smile.

If your dentist identifies tartar, they may recommend a professional clean,  a scaling, and a root planing procedure. During this process, your teeth will be deep cleaned to prevent any further progression of gum disease.

How can we help?

If you noticed any of the signs of gum disease or haven’t been in for a check-up and clean for a while, we encourage you to come in and see us. We offer a comprehensive range of general dentistry services designed to maintain our patients’ healthy smiles.

To book an appointment at Dream Smiles Specialist Centre, please contact us here or give us a call at 07 33441220.