Early gum disease is a completely reversible condition that begins as an inflammation of the gum tissue. Gum disease may present as swollen red gums that may be tender to touch. Often the first sign of gum disease is bleeding from your gums when you brush and floss your teeth. If you are suffering from gum disease (gingivitis), your friendly dentist will devise an oral hygiene routine that is tailor made to you that will reverse the effects of this disease. However, we rely on you to maintain a high standard of oral hygiene at home to prevent the progression of the gum disease. If gingivitis is not controlled in its early stages, it can progress to periodontitis.
Periodontitis is when there is tissue and bone destruction around your teeth and this may lead to teeth becoming loose in the mouth. If not treated in time, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss. In the beginning periodontitis presents similarly to gingivitis with some redness and swelling of the gums, bleeding with brushing and bad breath. In later stages there will be gum loss which will give the appearance of your teeth getting longer in your mouth. There will be deep pockets between the teeth and gums. You may also notice that your teeth are moving in your mouth. You may also suffer from some sensitivity due to the recession of the gums.
Many studies have been done which show that periodontitis may be related to an increased risk of many diseases such as stroke, myocardial infarction and atherosclerosis.
Ineffective oral hygiene is the primary cause of periodontitis, however, it maybe made worse by some other factors such as uncontrolled diabetes and smoking. If you are a smoker and are interested in quitting, please discuss this with our team and we will strive to provide you with all the support and resources that we can to help you quit.
Although we usually recommend a check up and clean twice a year, if you are suffering from gum disease, we recommend that you attend for check ups and deep cleaning appointments more regularly (usually four times a year). This will ensure we can monitor the status of your teeth, gums and bone and take action whenever required to give your teeth the best chance of lasting you for your lifetime.
If we feel that you have a more aggressive form of gum disease, we may recommend that it is in your best interests to see a gum specialist (periodontist). If this is the case, we will discuss your options with you and recommend an expert based on your specific needs.