Gum Disease Explained
Healthy gums are the foundations of strong teeth, so you’d be surprised by just how many people dismiss signs of potential gum disease as something that will simply pass. By ignoring signs of gum disease such as increased sensitivity or bleeding while brushing, you are putting yourself at risk of tooth decay and even loss. Treatment can depend entirely on the severity, as each person is different, but there are some telltale signs to keep an eye out for when it comes to infected gums.
Signs of Gum Disease
If you notice any sudden changes you notice in your gums, you should immediately book in with your dentist. The best time to catch gum disease is during its early stages, before it has the opportunity to develop into a more serious condition.
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Increased sensitivity
- Bleeding when brushing
- Inflamed gums
- Receding gums
The early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis, which is caused by the build up of bacteria around the gums. This is brought on by poor oral hygiene, but can be made worse by smoking, poor diet and nutrition as well as stress. As this is only the early stages of gum disease, it is very common to not suffer any discomfort, but you may notice bleeding when brushing your teeth and swollen gums. The best way to treat this is by regularly brushing your teeth at least twice a day along with flossing, which can help remove bacteria around the gum. Be sure to also attend your dentist every 3 months to help keep your gums in good health.
The next stage of gum disease, known as periodontitis or periodontal disease, is far more serious. This occurs when the infection moves below the gum line and can start to impact the bone and supporting tissues between your teeth and gums. If left untreated for a long period of time, it can do damage to your jaw bone as bacteria and toxins attack the tissue support your teeth, leading to gum recession.
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