The early stage of gum disease can usually be reversed with proper oral hygiene and professional cleans.
Gum disease is a common condition that, if left untreated, can lead to a number of serious health concerns, including tooth and bone loss. The issue usually begins when harmful bacteria grow in the mouth. In its early stage, it is known as gingivitis and occurs when the gums become inflamed, while the more advanced stage is known as periodontitis.
Although gum disease can become a major concern, the good news is that it can be prevented with proper oral hygiene habits, and even reversed with early treatment. Read on to find out more about gum disease and what you can do if you have noticed some of its symptoms…
What causes gum disease?
The most common cause of gum disease is the build-up of plaque. When plaque is left to accumulate on the teeth and gums, the bacteria in the sticky film causes inflammation of the gums. This, in turn, can lead to gum irritation, bleeding gums and sensitivity. Poor oral hygiene contributes to the build-up of plaque, which is why it is so important to brush and floss your teeth every day.
Other possible causes of gum disease include certain hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy and menopause; certain health conditions that make one more prone to infections; and certain medications that have an impact on one’s oral health.
How is gum disease treated?
If your dentist identifies the signs of gum disease during a dental examination, they will let you know what the best course of action is, depending on the severity of the issue. If they identify the early stages of gingivitis, it may be sufficient to improve your oral hygiene habits at home and to undergo a professional clean.
If the gum disease has advanced beyond the early stages, your dentist may try to reattach the gums to the teeth and reduce the depth of your gum pockets to reduce the risk of infection and stop the disease from spreading. Fortunately, there are non-surgical treatment options for gum disease in which bacterial growth is controlled to prevent further damage.
Can gum disease be prevented?
One of the best ways to prevent or reverse gingivitis is to take active steps to remove plaque from your teeth on a regular basis. To do so, it is important that you practice proper oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing, and that you see your dentist for at least two professional cleans every year.
It is advisable that you don’t skip your routine dental check-ups every six months — at these appointments, your dentist will check for any bleeding or swelling of the gums, look at the depth of your pockets between your teeth and gums, and identify any other issues that could indicate the presence of gum disease.
How can we help?
At Ironside Advanced Dental, we offer a range of prevention services designed to keep our patients’ smiles in the best possible condition. We urge our patients to practice proper oral hygiene daily — which includes brushing every morning and night and flossing daily.
Prevention is always better than cure, but if you have noticed any of the early signs of gum disease, such as red, swollen or bleeding gums, we encourage you to come in and see us as soon as possible. We will examine your teeth and gums and take every possible step to repair any damage and prevent the progression of the gum disease.
If you would like to find out more about the preventative treatments that we offer, please have a look here.
To book an appointment, please contact us here or give us a call on (02) 9267 3495.