Most people suffer from gum disease at some point in their lives. It’s a very common problem in the UK.
This disease can cause unwanted symptoms such as bleeding gums and bad breath.
We get lots of questions about gum disease from our patients, so in this post, we’re going to be answering these questions.
What causes gum disease?
Most times, gum disease is caused by plaque on your teeth. Plaque contains bacteria that irritate your gums and makes them red, sore, and swollen.
What are the stages of gum disease?
There are four stages of gum disease.
- Gingivitis: This is the early stage of gum disease. You might notice that your gums bleed when you brush your teeth. You may also have bad breath.
- Periodontitis: If gingivitis is untreated, then periodontitis can occur. This affects the tissues that support the teeth and hold them in place.
- Bone damage: If periodontitis is untreated, it can damage your jawbone and create small spaces between the gum and teeth.
- Tooth loss: Eventually your teeth can become loose and may fall out.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Look out for these symptoms:
- bleeding after brushing
- red, sore or swollen gums
- bad breath
When you notice any of these symptoms, you should see your dentist immediately. If left untreated, your gum disease might result in a severe condition known as periodontitis; a condition that damages your bone and tissue and makes your teeth start falling out.
What should I do if I have signs of gum disease?
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should visit your dentist. The dentist will check and confirm if you have gum disease.
If you do have gum disease, then your dentist will tell you how to treat it.
How do I treat gum disease?
Gum disease can be treated either by you or your dentist, depending on how severe the condition is.
For mild gum disease, you can either remove the plaque yourself by brushing and flossing the affected area.
For severe gum disease, you should visit your dentist for treatment. You cannot treat it yourself.
It is crucial to see your dentist regularly for check-ups. The dentist can spot gum disease early on and get rid of it before it causes more harm.
How can I prevent gum disease?
Prevention is always better than cure, and that’s definitely true for gum disease: it’s easier to prevent gum disease than to treat it.
In fact, preventing gum disease is very easy: all you have to do to is to clean your teeth and gums often. Ideally, you should brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day.
As mentioned earlier, you should also visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist can spot gum disease early and treat it before it becomes severe.
Usually, one or two check-ups a year should be enough. But if you’re prone to getting gum disease, then you should see your dentist every three to six months.