Gum disease affects a large proportion of the UK but some people are simply unaware of it’s presence. If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, your gums are swollen or your teeth are starting to wobble you could be suffering from gum disease.
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis or periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the gum that can progress to the bone supporting your teeth. If not removed from daily brushing and flossing, plaque can build up on your teeth allowing bacteria to infect your gums and teeth.
Early symptoms of gum disease can be recognised by your dentist and be stopped before the disease can cause any real damage. It’s important to combat periodontitis early, if allowed to develop further it could have a dramatic effect on your smile.
Checking if you have Gum Disease
Gum disease is most common amongst adults but can affect people at any age. If you experience any of the following symptoms its advised you seek professional help:
- Your gums bleed when you brush or floss
- Gums have become red and swollen
- Teeth have become lose
- Spaces have started to form between your teeth
- When you bite your teeth fit together differently
As gum disease progresses the symptoms get worse. Patients experience noticeable bad breath. Teeth become more sensitive, the gum line recedes and pus can even seep from the gums.
How is Gum Disease treated?
After visiting a dentist due to experiencing some of the symptoms of gum disease they will do a thorough examination to assess its severity. Early stages of gum disease can be treated easily with proper and regular brushing/flossing. Maintaining a good standard of oral hygiene will prevent the build up of plaque that causes your gums to become infected.
However when plaque builds up, it hardens into tartar which cannot be removed by normal brushing or flossing. Either a dentist or dental hygienist will scale your teeth to remove the tartar above and below your gum line. Depending on the severity of the disease, your dentist will be able to supply you with antibiotics and painkillers. Other treatments such as root planing and surgery are available if required to treat more advanced stages of gum disease.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to treat gum disease is by preventing it from occurring by maintaining a good standard or oral hygiene. Whilst it may seem like common sense, it’s important the following is carried out to help keep gum disease at bay:
- Brush your teeth twice a day, this helps removes the plaque of the surface of the teeth which can harden into tartar and lead to gum disease.
- Regular Flossing. This is vital as can get to those hard to reach places a toothbrush simply can’t.
- An Antibacterial Mouthwash can work in conjunction with brushing and flossing to help remove plaque from your mouth.
What to do for more advice
If you’re suffering from gum disease or experiencing any symptoms it’s worth seeking professional help from a dentist immediately. At the Scott Arms Dental Practice our Dentists in Birmingham have over 22 years of experience treating patients for gum disease related problems. We offer an emergency dental service 365 days a year and treat our patients with the highest standard of dental care.