Often just referred to as gum disease, periodontal is the term used to describe something which affects the gums and surrounding tissue.
Gum disease is much easier to treat in its early stages so make an appointment with your dentist if you experience any swelling or redness in the gums. Bleeding when brushing and flossing is a particular indicator of gum disease.
If you suspect you have gum disease it is very important to maintain your oral hygiene to protect your gums from further bacterial infection. There are two distinct types or stages of gum disease.
- The first stage of gum disease and is characterised by red and swollen gums and bleeding from the gums.
- The advanced form of gum disease had the following symptoms, bad breath or taste in the mouth, gum abscesses, trouble swallowing, gums receding and excessive saliva.
Periodontitis literally means “inflammation around the tooth” and if left untreated can lead to teeth falling out. Your gums natural reaction to infected teeth is to recede away causing them to become lose and eventually fall out. The bacteria then spreads along your gum line having the same effect on all your teeth. This can potentially leave you with no natural teeth remaining. The infection also begins to attack the bone, leading to bone loss in the jaw, which can affect your later options for dental implants and dentures.
Gum disease is caused by a build-up of bacteria around your teeth (plaque) which eventually becomes a hard substance called tartar (calculus). This tartar irritates the gum line and leads to the symptoms mentioned above. If the tartar is left untreated it will progress in to the advanced stages of periodontitis.
It is not possible to remove tartar by brushing alone and a visit to the dentist will allow it to be removed using specialist techniques.
We would recommend at least two visits to a dental hygienist per year in order to remove any plaque build-up and maintain healthy gums.