Periodontal (Gum disease)
At Wild Dental we have Dr Barbara Taylor, a specialist periodontist working in the area of soft tissues and gums. Barbara is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things relating to periodontal disease and receives referrals from practices within the Riverina region.
The causes of gum disease
Some of the common signs of gum disease are a redness, puffiness or bleeding of the gums.
Gum disease is usually caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth and along the gum line. The immune system tries to get rid of plaque with an inflammation response, seen by the redness and swelling of the gum around the tooth.
Everybody has a range of bacteria in their mouth. Plaque is constantly being formed by some of these bacteria when they feed on the sugars in the foods and drinks you consume. Plaque provides the perfect environment for the bacteria that can cause gum disease to live.
Stages of gum disease
Gingivitis is early stage gum disease. It affects the surface layers of the gum, particularly where the gum meets the tooth. At this stage, there is no damage to the deeper parts of the gums, teeth or bone.
The signs of gingivitis are:
- bleeding gums (especially when brushing or eating)
- swelling of the gum
The good news is that gingivitis can be reversed. You might think it is best to stop brushing if your gums are red or puffy. Try to continue brushing, as this will remove the bacteria and plaque that is causing the problem. Soon the gums should look and feel better. If not, it is advised to make an appointment with your dentist.
Periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease that may occur if gingivitis is not treated.If periodontitis is not treated, the structures that hold the tooth firmly into the gum can become so damaged that teeth become loose and may need to be removed.
Signs of periodontitis include:
- bleeding gums
- swollen gums
- receding gums (the gum line shrinks away from the tooth making teeth look longer)
- bad breath
- a bad taste in the mouth
- tenderness when biting
- loose teeth
If you think you have any of these signs or symptoms we encourage you to make an appointment today. Early treatment of periodontitis can save affected teeth.