Are your gums inflamed, sore or bleed when you brush?
Some people don’t realise that having healthy gums is equally important to healthy teeth. Gum (or periodontal) disease is when bacteria infects the gums and surrounding tissue causing inflammation. The early symptoms of periodontal disease, also known as gingivitis, include:
- Gums change colour from pale pink to deep red
- The gum margin is rounded and swollen, instead of being thin like a knifes edge
- Gums bleed every time you try to brush or floss
- Gums feel tender to the touch
- Bad breath
If these symptoms are left untreated, periodontal disease can progress into more advanced forms of gum disease.
Just as you wouldn’t leave a bacterial infection to grow on the skin of your arm, leg or face, you should ensure that one doesn’t grow inside your mouth.
The advanced stages of gum disease, known as periodontitis, affect the supporting structures of the tooth. This means the disease can destroy the periodontal ligaments that are responsible for keeping your teeth attached to the gum. This creates periodontal or gingival pockets that trap plaque and tartar. The bone that holds the tooth in place will also gradually be destroyed, usually resulting in tooth loss. Other signs that you have periodontitis include:
- Loose teeth making it hard to chew or bite
- Pain when you chew or bite
- Gums that pull away from your teeth (recede), making your teeth look longer than normal
- New spaces developing between your teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Recent research also reveals a close relationship between active periodontitis and cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) diseases.
What to expect?
At The Grove Dental Rouse Hill, we provide a number of services to ensure the best outcome for your gums and overall oral health. This includes a commitment to practising and encouraging all forms of preventative dentistry to ensure our patients avoid the risk of developing gum disease. Dr Britt strongly believes that there are two not-so-secret weapons in the battle against gum disease:
- Good oral hygiene. That means brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice daily — in the morning and before going to bed — and flossing at least once a day.
- Regular dental visits. A regular check-up and clean with Dr Britt, every six months will reduce the risk of bacterial infection and inflammation. If you have risk factors that increase your chance of developing periodontitis — such as having dry mouth, taking certain medications or smoking — you may need professional cleaning more often.