Periodontal disease or gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss in the adult population. Gum disease can occur at any age, but it is most common among adults aged 60+ but most serious when it occurs in adults in their late 40’s early 50’s. Prevention is the cure
Gum disease is an inflammatory disease that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. It is caused by the presence of plaque, which is a sticky, colourless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not removed through daily brushing and cleaning between the teeth, plaque can accumulate and disease progresses Inflammation can infect not only your gums but eventually the tissue and bone that support the teeth. This can in the long term cause them to become loose, fall out or require removal.
How Do I Know if I Have Gum Disease?
The tell tale signs of inflammation in periodontal or gum disease in approximate order of severity are:
- Gums that bleed during brushing or cleaning between the teeth
- Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender
- Gums that have separated, or pulled away, from your teeth, creating a pocket
- Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
How is Gum Disease Treated?
The early stages of gum disease can often be reversed with correct brushing and cleaning between the teeth. Good oral health will help keep plaque from building up. A professional cleaning by your dentist or hygienist is the only way to remove plaque that has built up and hardened into tartar. Your dentist or hygienist will clean or “scale” your teeth to remove the tartar above and below the gumline. If your condition is more severe, a root planing procedure may be performed. Root planing helps to smooth irregularities on the roots of the teeth making it more difficult for plaque to deposit there.