Gum disease can often be prevented through maintaining healthy oral hygiene.
Gum disease occurs from bacteria build-up on the teeth. Although the human mouth has millions of micro-bacteria that are beneficial to the human body, this type of bacteria isn’t healthy for your mouth. This bacteria forms plaque when it encounters sugary carbohydrates from foods we consume.
The plaque produces a sticky film onto your teeth and can be removed through cleaning and flossing. If left unattended, the plaque will progress into the gums and structures of the tooth. Eventually, this can lead to future damage to gums and even tooth loss.
Types of Gum Disease
Gum disease (periodontitis) can be identified within a two-stage process. The initial precursor to gum disease is gum inflammation or commonly known as gingivitis.
Gingivitis occurs when the gums become inflamed and swollen from plaque not being removed as well as the gums bleeding from brushing teeth. This can usually be prevented by regularly cleaning teeth (twice a day) as well as flossing and using appropriate mouthwash.
Periodontitis is more serious than gingivitis as it results in the gums eventually moving away from the tooth forming a small pocket which allows for more plaque to be trapped. At this stage, even brushing the teeth won’t remove the plaque. If left unattended overtime, the plaque will begin to harden resulting in the build-up of calculus (also known as tartar).
Risks of Gum Disease
One of the more common risks for gum disease is not maintaining healthy oral hygiene. People tend to believe just brushing your teeth once a day is enough. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. When we consume food, particles of food can often end up trapped between teeth or stuck near gums. Just cleaning won’t remove the trapped particles. To maintain oral hygiene, flossing and mouthwash should be done after brushing. This helps to remove any plaque build-up.
Other risks can include:
- Sugary drinks – We all do enjoy the odd cold soft drink. But the sugary carbohydrates can often contribute to gum disease. It is usually recommended to consume water straight after as this can help flush away any plaque build-up.
- Mouth Breathing – When you breathe from your mouth, saliva dries up. Saliva contains antibodies which defend tooth decay and gum disease.
Treatment for Gum Disease
With any tooth related disease, early treatment is always important as it can prevent further damage from occurring.
Early stages of gum disease can often be noticed by your dentist, who will examine the gums and work out appropriate treatment. The type of treatment is usually dependent on the severity of the gum disease.
In most cases, the dentist will give sound advice on proper techniques for cleaning your teeth and what needs to be used in addition to cleaning. If the gum disease is severe, then treatment may be required for the root area of the tooth or even surgery to remove the bacteria and plaque build-up.
Noticing swollen gums or bleeding when brushing? Contact our team for an appointment as early treatment is vital for maintaining excellent oral health.