Also known as Gingivitis, gum disease is a common dental condition which affects most people at some point during their life and is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. If you think you might have gum disease, simply give us a call on 08 9440 4455 or complete the form below to request an appointment with our friendly dental professionals today.
ABOUT GUM DISEASE
Gum disease (also known as gingivitis) is a common dental condition which affects most people at some point during their life. It is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth, particularly where the gum meets the tooth. The most common sign of gingivitis is bad breath as well as red, swollen bleeding gums which can be tender and sore especially when you brush. The good news is, gum disease is reversible if treated early.
WHY EARLY TREATMENT IS IMPORTANT
When gingivitis is left untreated, this can result in irreversible damage and advanced gum disease (also known as periodontitis). When this happens, the gum becomes significantly weakened and a space forms between the join of the tooth and the gum. This space is commonly referred to as ‘pocketing’ leading to further inflammation, redness, swelling and bleeding.
As the disease progresses, the bones, gums and surrounding tissue that support the teeth can be destroyed, resulting in long term problems such as sensitivity, longer looking and stained teeth and ultimately tooth loss.
GUM DISEASE FAQs
How can I prevent Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is to brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily. In addition to your daily oral hygiene routine, visiting the dentist regularly for a check-up and a scale and clean is essential in order to protect your teeth and gums, and to identify and treat any early signs and symptoms of gum disease.
How is gum disease treated?
Along with brushing twice a day and flossing daily, the best way to treat and reverse gum disease is to have regular scale and cleans and check-ups at your local dentist. During your clean, our hygiene therapists will remove bacterial plaque and tartar from above and below your gums as well as polish your teeth to help heal and reverse any gum disease. A clean surface allows your gums to reattach to your teeth.
In certain cases of advanced gum disease or periodontitis we may refer you to a periodontist (gum specialist) for their expert opinion and work in conjunction with them to treat the condition and prevent tooth loss.
While it might be tempting to try and treat gum disease at home or with natural remedies, the best way to determine your optimal form of treatment is visit your local dentist for a thorough examination.
If you’re worried that you might have gum disease, simply give us a call on 08 9440 4455 or request an appointment to meet with one of our friendly dental professionals today.
Are there different types of Gum Disease?
How can gum disease affect the rest of my body?
While gum disease is known as one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss and other oral conditions, it can also have a detrimental impact on other parts of the body.
As the mouth forms an integral part of our immune system, gum disease has been linked to inflammation in other parts of our body, increasing our risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, premature births and other serious health issues.
What can make gum disease worse?
Although the common cause of gum disease is the build-up of plaque on our teeth, there are other contributing factors which can have a detrimental effect on our gums. Some of the main offenders include:
Smoking – While tobacco is linked to many other serious illnesses including cancer, lung disease and heart disease, it also increases your risk of gum disease. Studies have shown that tobacco can constrict the blood flow to our mouth which creates a breeding ground for bacteria to develop. It also interferes with the functions in our body that protect us against disease and promote healing.
Stress – Along with being linked to other serious medical conditions such as cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes, stress has also be a contributing factor of gingivitis and periodontitis. When we stress, it makes it difficult for our body to fight infection and inflammation including gums disease.
Medications – Some medications such as anti-depressants, antibiotics and certain heart medicines can give you dry mouth, increasing your risk of tooth decay, infection and inflammation of your gums.
Hormonal changes – A woman’s gum health can be impacted by the different stages of her hormonal life cycle including puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. During these times, the surge or drop of hormones can lead to increase gum sensitivity and inflammation.
Malnutrition and Obesity – When our diet lacks important vitamins and minerals, this can inhibit our ability to fight of infection and inflammation in our body, including in our mouth.
Other diseases – Other serious medical conditions such diabetes, heart disease and arthritis can interfere with our body’s immune system, causing or worsening inflammation of the gums.
Genetics – Unfortunately genetics can play a role in gum disease which means some people are simply more prone to gingivitis and periodontitis than others.
What is gum cancer?
Oral cancers can occur anywhere in the mouth from the lips, tongue and gum all the way through to the throat, salivary glands and sinuses. At every appointment, our trained dental professionals take the time screen for any symptoms of oral cancer but you should contact your dentist or doctor straight away if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Sores or swollen lumps or bumps anywhere in or around your mouth or throat
- The development of red, white or speckled patches in or around your mouth
- Any unexplained bleeding
- Numbness or pain in your mouth, including on your tongue
- Pain in one or more of your ears without hearing loss
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your jaw
- A lingering sore throat or hoarseness
- A rapid or dramatic shift in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
Also known as caries or cavities, tooth decay in its simplest form refers to the breakdown of teeth due to acid from bacteria. When this bacteria builds up in our mouth, it can gradually dissolve away our tooth’s enamel, resulting in inflammation, abscess formation or in the most serious of cases, tooth loss when left untreated.
CONTACT US TODAY
If you’re ready to experience The Dental Studio Stirling difference, please give us a call on 08 9440 4455 or request an appointment to meet with one of our friendly dental professionals today.