Gum disease (gingivitis) is one of the most widespread diseases across the world, however it is preventable and can be treated easily when it is found early enough.
Gum disease happens when plaque builds up around teeth that aren’t cleaned properly. You may find it harder to clean your teeth if you have crowding of your teeth or food trap areas, wear braces, have implants or wear dentures.
Other things that can make you more likely to get gum disease are smoking, diabetes, pregnancy, taking medication which makes your mouth dry, or eating too many sugary foods. Getting older or having a weak immune system can also make you more susceptible to gum disease.
The first signs of gum disease are redness or bleeding of your gums while brushing or eating, pain and swelling of your gums or bad breath. If left untreated gum disease may spread to the ligaments and bone surrounding your teeth causing your gums to pull away from your teeth (periodontitis). This will make your teeth more difficult to clean and may lead to gum recession, exposed roots, sensitive and loose teeth and possibly the formation of an abscess.
Treatment for gum disease depends on how serious the gum disease is and the stage of development. Mild gingivitis may be controlled with daily brushing and flossing with regular monitoring by your dentist or hygienist.
If your dentist has diagnosed that you have periodontitis you may need to have additional monitoring, X-rays and deep tooth cleaning possibly with additional treatment including antiseptic mouthwash and antibiotics.
Your dentist may suggest referral to a Specialist Periodontist for additional treatments helping you to get to a higher level of gum health and advising you on how to maintain this level will help you to keep your teeth for longer.