Gum disease is a wide-spread disease that causes a host of associated dental complications and health issues. If left untreated in its early stages, gum disease will progress until the bones, gums and tissues that support the teeth are destroyed, and the teeth become loose. At this stage, the teeth will either fall out or require extraction. If you’re at risk of gum disease, visit your dentist at Bulimba Dental today.
Symptoms of gum disease
The following symptoms are associated with gum disease. If you display any of these signs of symptoms, make sure you visit your dentist as soon as possible to receive treatment to reverse or limit the advancement of the disease.
- Inflammation of the gums
- Redness of the gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath
What causes gum diseases?
Our mouths are full of bacteria that accumulate throughout the day, particularly after eating and drinking. These bacteria, along with saliva, form plaque, which is sticky and acidic. If plaque is not removed, with brushing or flossing, it hardens to form tartar. The longer plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, the more damage they cause. These acidic substances cause the gums to swell and redden. The tender gums will start to bleed, particularly when brushing, flossing or eating hard foods. This initial form of gum disease is called gingivitis.
Gingivitis can be reversed with fastidious flossing, brushing and regular cleans by your dental hygienist. It is very important to be aware of your teeth and gums, and if you show any of these initial symptoms, visit your dentist at Bulimba Dental.
When gingivitis is not treated, it develops into periodontitis, which involves further swelling of the gums to the point that the gums begin to pull away from the teeth. The resulting gaps between the teeth and the gums, called pockets, become exposed to bacteria, and start becoming infected. The body’s natural defences are to fight bacteria and plaque before it spreads below the gum line. The immune system will respond to infection and toxins by breaking down the bone and tissue that holds the teeth in place. If left untreated, this process will advance until the bones, tissue and gums that support the teeth and keep them in place are broken down. The teeth will therefore loosen, and may either fall out or have to be extracted.
Causes of gum disease
- Poor hygiene habits, such as skipping daily brushing or flossing
- Diabetes and other illnesses. Illnesses that interfere with the body’s immune system make it easier for infection to develop.
- Certain medications reduce saliva flow, which is important to the health of the teeth and gums, making it easier for plaque to accumulate.
- Family history of gum diseases
If you display any of the signs or symptoms of gum disease, or have a family history of gum disease, make sure you visit your dentist as soon as possible. There are preventive treatments and healthy habits that can assist in the prevention and reversal of gingivitis.