- What is gum disease?
- What causes gum disease?
- Is gum disease reversible?
- What signs should I look out for?
- How do I prevent gum disease?
What is gum disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the soft tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth. As gums are necessary to hold our teeth in place, if they become damaged tooth loss can be inevitable. As a result, gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly coats our teeth. These bacteria create toxins that can damage our gums.
Is gum disease reversible?
Yes, but only to a point. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. At this stage the gums can become red and swollen. They may also bleed easily. This is quite a painless period, which may explain why people tend to ignore it, or not even notice they have it. Gum disease, at this stage, can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.
The more advanced stage is known as periodontitis. It is at this stage that the bones and gums can become very damaged. The teeth may become loose and eventually fall out or they may have to be removed by your dentist.
What signs should I look out for?
If you think you have gum disease, it is essential that you visit your dentist. The signs you need to look for are:
- Red, swollen or tender gums.
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth.
- Gums that appear to have pulled away from the teeth.
- Loose teeth.
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
- Pus between your teeth and gums.
How do I prevent gum disease?
Good dental hygiene is essential in order to prevent gum disease. Make sure you brush your teeth properly twice a day with a toothbrush that is in good condition.
Ensure you clean in between your teeth every day. Flossing will remove bacteria and food particles from the areas a toothbrush cant reach. Early gum disease can often be reversed by proper brushing and flossing.
It is essential to visit your dentist regularly.
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