It’s estimated that 80% of people will experience some form of gum disease during their lifetime. Gum disease – also called periodontal disease – is an infection, which has spread to the gums and tooth roots.
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. It is the infection of the gums from bacteria resulting from insufficient or ineffective oral hygiene. Gingivitis can cause gum inflammation, tenderness and bleeding when brushing and flossing.
When treated early by John Street Dental hygienists, any effects from gingivitis can be reversed and prevented in the future by adopting a thorough oral hygiene routine and attending regular appointments at John Street Dental every six months.
Periodontal disease increases in its severity the longer it’s left untreated. When gum disease has progressed from gingivitis, it is known as periodontitis.
The most common cause of gum disease is plaque, a clear sticky film on the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque attacks the gum tissue and tooth enamel, causing both gum disease and tooth decay.
Brushing twice a day (morning after breakfast and night before bed) and flossing will help prevent the build-up of plaque.
The signs and symptoms of gum disease include:
- Swollen and tender gums that bleed when you floss or brush your teeth
- Receding gum line that makes your teeth look longer
- Space that has recently formed between teeth and increases
- Mouth sores
- Constant bad breath
- Pus between teeth
- Changes in how your teeth bite together.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. And while gingivitis can be reversed, periodontitis can be managed so you can enjoy a smile for life.
If you experience any of these symptoms, or if it’s been a while since you have had a check-up, should schedule a hygiene appointment with the John Street Dental team.