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What is Gum Disease?


What is gum disease?

Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is an inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It is most commonly caused by poor dental hygiene. Food debris mixes with saliva and bacteria-forming plaque that sticks on the surfaces of teeth. If dental plaque and tartar aren't removed by brushing and flossing then it mineralizes to form calculus. This can only be removed by professional dental cleaning.

Are there other factors that may cause gum disease?

Although it is mostly due to poor oral hygiene, there are other factors which can increase the risk of developing gingivitis such as:

  • Smoking
  • Crooked or Overlapping teeth
  • Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy or menopause
  • Cancer and cancer treatment
  • Stress
  • Mouth breathing
  • Poor nutrition
  • Medication
  • Poor saliva production

What are the symptoms?

Gum disease causes the gums to become red in colour, puffy or swollen looking, sometime they develop a spongy texture and they will bleed easily when brushing or flossing.

Why should I take action now?

Gum disease in itself is not a serious condition as most people experience it at some point in their adult life. However, if left untreated gum disease can lead to periodontal disease which is a very serious condition. Periodontal disease will be discussed in an upcoming article but suffice to say that it causes bone loss and tooth loss if allowed to progress without professional intervention. And did I mention it's not very pretty!?

What can I do?

Book an appointment as soon as possible with you dental hygienist for a professional scale and clean. These guys are gum experts so if you have gum disease they will be able to tell you. They will also be able to explain  the stage of progression it is at and may recommend that a deep clean be done on your teeth over the course of a few visits just to get the condition under control.

Contact Dental Excellence on 08 9443 8333 to book to see one of our friendly dental hygienists today!

Author: Sophia Wotherspoon

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