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Gum disease is inflammation, infection or soreness of the gum tissue caused bu bacteria and plaque on the teeth. There are two stages of gum disease; these are Gingivitis and Periodontal disease.
This is the inflammation of the gums. The gums will look red and will be tender to touch and will most likely bleed when brushed. By continuing to brush thoroughly twice a day this is reversible, although any damage done will remain.
This is what gingivitis develops into. As the disease progresses further, it affects the gum tissues more and then the bone and ligament structures supporting the teeth. If this isn't treated appropriately there is a chance of tooth loss. More teeth are lost to periodontal disease than to tooth decay.
At some stage nearly everyone will have gum disease in their lifetime.
All gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth everyday. many of the bacteria in plaque is harmless but there are some that have been proven to be the main cause of gum disease.
To prevent and treat gum disease you need to make sure this film is removed every day, this is done by brushing twice a day and using other cleaning methods such as dental floss and interdental brushes.
The first thing to do would be to make an appointment with your dentist for a check up of teeth and gums. At this appointment the dentist will take measurements of the gum surrounding the teeth and check that the gum disease hasn’t progressed to Periodontal Disease. At this stage X-rays may also be taken to check the bones levels around the teeth.
Your dentist will fully examine and determine the level of gum disease you have. If it is mild the dentist will give you a thorough clean above and below the gum line and demonstrate techniques that will be helpful for cleaning at home. If the disease has moved into Periodontal Disease and you need more in depth cleaning you may be referred to a Hygienist. They will set out a treatment plan for you and further advise on what to do to help manage the situation.
Periodontal disease is never fully cured, but it can be controlled by following the instructions given to you by your dentist and hygienist. Attending regular check ups is vital to maintain healthy teeth and gums.