What is Gum Disease?


What is gum disease?

Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.

What is the cause of gum disease?

All gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day. Many of the bacteria in plaque are completely harmless, but there are some that have been shown to be the main cause of gum disease. To prevent and treat gum disease, you need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day. This is done by brushing and flossing. Flossing is a technique which many patients find very difficult to carry out on a daily basis. Our friendly Hygienist will help you find easy and time saving ways for you to maintain your teeth.

Studies show Smoking effects teeth and gums

Many studies have shown that smoking and using tobacco products has a detrimental effect on your teeth and gums. The problem is caused by the fact that tobacco affects the gum tissue cells, making smokers more prone to getting infections in the form of gum and periodontal diseases. Other negative effects of smoking are: bad breath, stained teeth, jawbone loss, shrinking gums, mouth sores, decreased senses of taste and smell, poor healing of mouth sores and hairy tongue.

In addition to this, most people don’t know that smoking is the main cause of mouth cancer, with thousands of people dying every year from mouth cancer brought on by smoking. As dental professionals it is important for us to tell you the risks for smoking and to help you to quit by giving you information and support. By cutting down and stopping smoking or using tobacco products your oral health will benefit very quickly and you will notice changes in your certain mouth. It is essential that you come into the practice for regular check-ups so we can help you maintain good oral health and give you advice and encouragement.

What happens if gum disease is not treated?

Unfortunately, gum disease progresses painlessly on the whole so that you do notice the damage it is doing. However, the bacteria are sometimes more active and this makes your gums sore. This can lead to gum abscesses, and pus may ooze from around the teeth. Over a number of years, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost. If the disease is left untreated for a long time, treatment can become more difficult.

What treatments are needed?

Your dentist will clean your teeth thoroughly to remove the scale. You’ll also be shown how to remove plaque successfully yourself, cleaning all surfaces of your teeth thoroughly and effectively. This may take a number of sessions with the dentist or hygienist.

Dental hygiene treatment is delivered by a dental hygienist/dentist who will help to remove any plaque from your teeth that may have built up in certain areas. Your teeth will be professionally cleaned with special equipment and pastes, this process is also known as scaling and polishing. An important aspect of the hygienist’s role is to show you how to look after your teeth so they remain free from plaque. You will be advised on the best brushing technique and given tips on flossing and using inter-dental brushes.

Dental hygiene at the dental Practice also forms part of treating gum disease and bad breath. If you have a bridge, denture, orthodontic treatment or a dental implant you will have specific hygiene needs that the hygienist will be able to assist you with.

It is recommend that you come in for regular hygiene appointments to ensure your mouth stays clean and healthy.

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Did you know people with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from heart problems!


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