Gum Disease – What You Need to Know

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Thousands of people suffer with gum disease on a daily basis. There are thousands more that are completely unaware that they have the disease, which in time can become more serious and result in tooth loss.

Many people aren’t aware they have a problem, especially during the early stages of gum disease. Unless you attend your routine dental appointments and the dentist identifies gum disease, you may go months or longer without every knowing you have a problem.

When gum disease is caught early, treatment can be quick and effective. The longer you leave it the more detailed the treatment becomes. It is important to be aware that there are two types of gum disease ranging from mild to severe. With mild treatment is easy and involves good home oral health routines, where the severe form may entail antibiotics and even surgery to rectify the problem.

Gum disease is caused when plaque builds up on the tooth. Plaque is brimming with harmful bacteria and is a sticky substance which holds onto all the dangerous elements which can harm your mouth. Over time plaque hardens to become tartar. Dr Tariq Drabu, a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon, advises that with a good oral health routine, plaque can be removed effectively to reduce the risk of gum disease moving forward.

Tartar and plaque can result in infection, which leads to inflammation and eventually forms into a gum disease, which takes a lot more work to treat. If you ignore the early signs of gum disease, it can result in more severe periodontitis moving forward. Ignoring periodontal disease is very serious and can result in tooth loss in the future.

The symptoms of gum disease range from bad breath and tenderness to redness, swollen gums and bleeding gums, especially when brushing. You may also notice that pockets form, which is a pocket which forms between the tooth and the gum and eventually, it can result in tooth loss.

There are two stages of gum disease. Gum disease usually starts with stage one gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild to moderate form of the disease which results in red and bleeding gums and swelling. It can cause discomfort. The second stage is the serious periodontal disease. This is when pockets form between the tooth and gum, which is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Periodontal disease destructs the bone of the tooth and eventually, if left untreated can result in tooth loss.

Treatment is quick and effective, depending on the severity of the disease, according to Dr Tariq Drabu. For gingivitis you will be sent to the oral hygienist that will scale and professionally clean your teeth, removing all the plaque and tartar. It is common for your teeth to feel rough after this treatment. From here you will be given a strict oral health routine that you must follow at home which involves brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes.

The most important time to brush your teeth is right before bed and then once more during the course of the day. You will also have to floss daily. If you have gum disease, it’s a good idea to floss twice daily, ensuring you remove the plaque from hard to reach places that your toothbrush cannot reach.

If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, the treatment is more detailed and may involve antibiotics to fight the infection and maybe even surgery, depending on the severity of the disease.

This is why it’s so important to keep your routine dental appointment. Your dentist will inspect your teeth and gums and can identify the problems and treat them before they become serious.

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