Gum Disease – What Causes It and How Gum Disease Treatment Helps?
Gum disease is caused by bacteria. It is a common complaint which affects most people at some point in their life. There are two types of gum disease :
• Periodontal disease
Gingivitis is gum disease at the early stage. This is when your gums are swollen and bleed when you brush them. The good news is that gum disease gingivitis identified early and treated early can reverse the effects of gingivitis and restore your gums to a healthy condition. The bad news is that unless gingivitis is treated quickly, it can develop into a more serious condition, known as periodontal disease (gum disease at the final stage).
Causes of Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that thrive in the warm, moist conditions of your mouth. Not all bacteria are harmful, only that which is contained in plaque – the sticky substance that forms on your teeth and around your gum line. Regular brushing and flossing helps remove this and keeps the level of bacteria in your mouth under control. However, when your oral hygiene lapses, the plaque can accumulate and harden, turning into tartar which can’t be removed by brushing. This gives a green light for bacteria to enter your gums, attacking them and causing infection.
Who is most at risk?
Besides having poor oral hygiene, a number of other factors can increase your chances of developing gum problems. These include:
• Family history of gum disease
• A weakened immune system – due to treatments such as chemotherapy and illnesses such as AIDS or HIV
• Crooked teeth which are difficult to clean
Gum disease treatment – What’s involved?
The most effective method of treating gum disease is to remove all traces of plaque and tartar. Once we’ve done this, it’s up to you to care for your teeth and gums properly at home with daily brushing and flossing. Don’t worry – our dentist can show you the correct way to clean your teeth and gums so that you can avoid another plaque build up, and a recurrence of gingivitis.
The dangers of avoiding gum disease treatment
While gingivitis can be easily cured, choosing to ignore it can have serious consequences. Unfortunately, you may not realise your gingivitis has developed into periodontal disease until you start to feel pain – by which time it’s too late.
What’s more, periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your gums. Bacteria can invade your bloodstream and cause infections in different parts of your body. This is why it’s so important to visit your dentist for regular check-ups.
Periodontal treatment Melbourne
Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease which occurs when gingivitis is left untreated. It can cause your gums to weaken and start to detach from your teeth. This causes empty pockets which fill with harmful bacteria, causing deeper infections that can reach the bone, and eventually cause teeth to loosen and fall out.
As well as red, swollen, and receding gums, you may experience:
• Pain when chewing
• Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
• Constant bad breath
• Loose teeth
Treatment for periodontal disease may require one or more dental visits and involves scaling and planing to remove plaque and tartar. Tooth roots will also be made smoother to prevent bacteria from forming on them again. After this procedure, the gums should heal themselves and tighten around your teeth. After a few weeks, your Cranbourne dentist will assess the situation to see if any further action (periodontal surgeries) is required.