At Totally Smiles, we firmly believe that prevention is better than cure, and we know that long-term dental management feels a whole lot better than treatments. That is why we are passionate about educating Australians on all aspects of dental health, including gum disease and how to spot it.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line that can also affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth if left untreated. There are three stages of the disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
What are the symptoms?
Without regular check-ups, you probably won’t know that you have a problem until it’s in the more advanced stages. Gum disease can be painless, so it is important to keep an eye on the following symptoms:
- Bleeding gums, especially when brushing your teeth
- Any swelling, redness, or tenderness in the gums
- Gums that recede or move away from the tooth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
- Pain when chewing
- Loose teeth
- Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums
What should I do about it?
If left untreated, gum disease can become a serious problem and result in tooth loss or increased risk of other health problems such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes. Once it is past the earliest stages, professional treatment from your dentist or hygienist is the only way to cure it. If you notice any of these symptoms, the sooner you seek treatment, the better your chances are of saving your teeth and health.
Who can get gum disease?
Anyone at any age can be affected, especially if you have not been making oral hygiene a priority. However, it is most common in people over the age of 30. There are some groups in the population who are at increased risk, including diabetics, pregnant women, anyone with a poor diet, and those taking illicit drugs.
What can I do to prevent gum disease?
Brush your teeth and floss at least twice a day to reduce the build-up of plaque, which is usually the cause of gum disease. Rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash that’s used to treat gingivitis can also be helpful. In addition, avoid sugary foods and drinks. Just as importantly, have regular check-ups so that we can help you monitor your oral health.
Contact your local Totally Smiles practice if you have any concerns about gum disease, or book an appointment online now.