The Progression of Gum Disease

healthy gumsGum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss and it has also been linked to other health problems like heart disease, stroke, respiratory ailments, osteoporosis, diabetes, low birth weight and premature babies. Gum disease can progress with no pain until teeth become loose; however it is easy to treat when caught early.

The first sign of gingivitis is red and swollen gums that bleed easily when you brush and floss. It is caused by the accumulation of plaque and bacteria, gingivitis is a reversible condition and with effective cleaning will quickly lead to healthy gums. If gingivitis is not resolved, it can lead to deeper, more permanent gum infection.

Periodontal disease is a disease of the gum tissue and supporting bone. Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis is associated with irreversible loss of the underlying bone.

When plaque is not removed effectively through your daily brushing and flossing routine it Gingivitishardens into calculus, the formation of calculus can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth; from which gum-pockets develop. Gum pockets usually open up between the tooth and gum and act as reservoirs for bacteria unless treated. The rate of bone loss varies very much from individual to individual, a large percentage of the population will most likely develop some form of periodontal disease, and some of these people will lose a number of teeth if they do not obtain treatment.

It is important to have the calculus removed to ensure plaque control and to promote healing of the gum tissues. Additionally, medical conditions; such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, certain medications (anti-convulsant and contraceptive pills) and lifestyle habits like smoking, further reduce the immune systems’ ability to overcome gum infection. Hence, the value of a maintenance program that entails regular three – six monthly dental hygiene visits.

Treatment aims at preventing advancement of the condition and involves some regeneration of attachment of the gums to the teeth. It will also significantly reduce bleeding, sensitive gums and bad breath. Successful gum treatment by the hygienist and meticulous home-care (flossing, brushing, and mouth-washing) will resolve gum inflammation so that the gums appear pink and firm instead of red and swollen.

periodontal disease

If you notice any of the following symptoms it is important you schedule an appointment with our hygienists.

  • Bleeding gums when you eat or brush your teeth
  • Any changes in the mouth such as tenderness, sores or abnormally red gums
  • Yellow tartar build-up on your teeth
  • White patches on the gums

Call (08) 8212 6335 today if you have any of the above symptoms and require treatment for gum disease at our conveniently located dental clinic in the Adelaide CBD.