Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning. You may notice blood on your toothbrush or in the water you have rinsed your teeth with. Your gums may bleed when you are eating, leaving a metallic taste in your mouth, and your breath may smell unpleasant.
Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. Periodontal disease affects the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out. In fact, more teeth are lost through periodontal disease than through tooth decay.
All gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day. If plaque is not removed from the tooth surfaces during brushing and flossing, the bacteria irritate the gums and cause inflammation and swelling.
Most people have at least one case of mild gum disease during their lifetime. It is estimated that 50-90% of the adult population has some degree of gum disease.
Certain things can worsen gum disease:
* Hormonal changes e.g. oral contraceptive pill, pregnancy, puberty and menopause
* Certain systemic diseases e.g. diabetes,
What can you do if you suspect you have gum disease?
The first thing to do is visit your dentist for a thorough check-up of your teeth and gums. The dentist can gum and bone level around each tooth to see if there is any sign that periodontal disease has started. This assessment is very important, so the correct treatment can be prescribed for you.
Your dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth thoroughly to remove the plaque and tartar deposits. Equally as important, you will also be shown how to remove plaque properly yourself and we can recommend the correct cleaning tools for you.
Merrion Dentistry can be relied upon to provide the best of dental care for you, and is located in South Dublin, Ireland – close to Stillorgan, Kilmacud, Blackrock, Mount Merrion, Foxrock, Booterstown, Donnybrook, Clonskeagh, Sandyford, Dun Laoghaire. Dentist located on level 1 of Stillorgan Shopping Centre.