Gingivitis and periodontitis both refer to a spectrum of gum diseases, typically caused by oral bacterial growth. Gum diseases are often painless which means it may go undetected until signs such as gum bleeding, swellings or shrinkages of the gums appear. Other symptoms include bad tastes or bad breath, and teeth drifting, such as your front teeth moving forward. If you notice your gums are puffy, red, swollen, or bleeding when you floss, give us a call to have it checked out.
The main cause of Gum disease is inefficient brushing and flossing which leads to a buildup of bacteria. Bacteria which have been left on the surfaces of the teeth grow in number and form a biofilm. Think of the biofilm like a layer the bacteria makes. Every day that we miss brushing and flossing, that biofilm becomes stronger and thicker. Now imagine the bacteria mixing with the food left in your mouth. This is called plaque.
When plaque is left on tooth surfaces for long enough, it starts to irritate the gums and cause gum inflammation or bleeding. When plaque becomes more mature, it hardens into calculus, also known as tartar. It becomes very difficult to brush off.
Imagine when cement is wet and sloppy, it is easy to remove. However, once that cement has hardened it becomes a lot harder. This is why it’s important to not only brush twice a day but floss every night too.
Factors such as general illnesses, medications or smoking can also have negative effects on gum health.
The good news is, Gum disease can be prevented with good oral hygiene however once the calculus or tartar builds up, it is very difficult to remove by brushing and flossing. Remember, calculus is hardened bacteria which causes irritation and inflammation to the gums. Gum disease does not heal on its own and only worsen over time.
The main focus of gum disease treatment at Graceful Dental is to remove the plaque and hardened bacteria thoroughly so that your gums have a chance to heal instead of being constantly inflamed.
Periodontal therapy is aimed at the reduction of oral bacteria and may take the form of regular dental cleans together with adequate oral hygiene home care.
Certain lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, reducing your stress and maintaining a balanced diet can help your body repair damaged tissue and reduce the severity of your gum diseases.
If gum disease is left untreated, it will worsen and lead to severe gum infections. Teeth will become loose over time and eventually fall out. People with gum disease also have 2 to 3 times the increased risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular events. It is therefore crucial to have your gum disease treated as early as possible to minimise long term damage to your teeth, gums and the rest of your body. Don’t delay, call us today.