Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues that support the teeth. There are 2 main types of gum disease – Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease.
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums, when the gums around the teeth become red, swollen and bleed easily when brushed during cleaning.
Periodontal Disease occurs when long standing Gingivitis progresses and if untreated affects the bone and ligaments supporting the teeth. This can happen slowly and painlessly over many years so the patient may be unaware of significant damage until the teeth become loose, due to bone loss, and may either fall out or have to be extracted.
The first sign of gum disease is blood on the toothbrush or when rinsing after brushing. This is caused by a build up of plaque bacteria and tartar both on and between the teeth, irritating the gums, resulting in inflammation and tenderness.
Treatment of gum disease is straightforward and readily available. Speak to one of our hygienists or your dentist for advice on what you can do at home to help prevent gum disease.