If you have been told you’re suffering from a gum disease, you are not alone. 3 out of 10 adults in Australia have some form of gum disease. Periodontal diseases range from inflamed gums to damaged soft tissue and bone. When gum diseases are left untreated or ignored, it can result in severe health conditions such as loss of teeth.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Our mouth is full of bacteria, which can form a sticky and colourless plaque on the teeth and gums. Regular brushing and flossing can help in prevention of plaque, however it is not adequate. Years of plaque build up hardens up and forms tartar. Only a professional dental practitioner can remove tartar effectively.
The longer plaque and tartar stays, it may cause inflammation of the gums called gingivitis. When gingivitis is not treated, it can get worse and result in periodontitis where the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected.
Types Of Gum Disease
There are two types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease and usually occurs when the gums get red and swollen. The gums may also occasionally bleed when you brush and it can result in bad breath. The good news here is that the effects of gingivitis can be reversed by regular and good oral care regime.
When gingivitis is left untreated, it may result in a severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis causes gum near the tooth to become weak and prone to infections. The space between gums and tooth traps germs, resulting in swelling. Over time, the bone that supports teeth becomes weak, causing the teeth to fall out.
Who is Prone to Gum Disease?
Anyone can suffer from a gum disease, however, it’s common among adults. People usually never show signs of impending gum disease until they are in their 30s or 40s. Studies have shown that men are more susceptible to gum diseases as compared to women.
Even though teenagers are less likely to develop periodontitis, the chances of developing gingivitis are higher.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky layer of germs that builds up on teeth. The plaque can irritate the gums and cause bleeding. If the plaque is not cleaned regularly, it can become hard and further result in tartar. This can lead to serious infection.
The symptoms of gum disease include:
- Inflammation of the gums that includes redness and swelling
- Bleeding gums while brushing teeth
- Constant bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- Receding gums
- Sensitive and loose teeth
People are more likely to develop gum disease if they:
- Smoke in excess
- Consume illicit drugs
- Diabetes or other diseases
- Certain medications
- Genetic predisposition
- Poor nutrition
It is advisable to visit your dentist regularly to check for any early signs of gum disease. Contact Dr. Zamani’s clinic for an appointment.