Gum Disease

Although gum disease is an extremely common condition, people are often unaware they have it, as they may have few if any symptoms

Gum disease left untreated can have an adverse effect on gum health and the bone holding teeth in place. It is the biggest cause of tooth loss in adults. When detected in its early stages, gum disease can be reversed, but allowed to progress – it can only be managed.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by ‘plaque’ that builds up daily on our teeth. Plaque is a soft, sticky substance predominantly made up of bacteria. These bacteria feed on sugars in our diet producing toxins that cause gum disease. When plaque is not removed, it can turn into hard tartar which irritates the gums, leading to redness and soreness. As a reaction to this irritation, in some people, their immune system overreacts and starts to break down the gum tissue and even the bone that supports the tooth.

Risk factors for gum disease

There are a number of factors that may increase your likelihood of developing severe gum disease including:

What are the stages of gum disease?

The first stage of gum disease is known as ‘gingivitis’ which causes gums to become irritated, swollen and bleed easily. The good news is that gingivitis is reversible with effective plaque control. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to ‘periodontitis’, which can cause gums to separate from the teeth, creating pockets that are susceptible to infection. Over time, these pockets will deepen, the gums will recede, and eventually teeth can become loose and may need to be removed. Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis is not reversible. However, despite the destructive nature of this process, symptoms may only be mild, even at a late stage.

Symptoms of gum disease

Preventing gum disease

The best way to prevent gum disease is to make sure plaque is effectively removed. This means you need a thorough home dental care routine with plenty of brushing and interdental cleaning. You should also visit the hygienist regularly, so your teeth can be properly cleaned (scaled and polished) and your gums can be checked for any changes. Other ways to reduce the risk of developing the disease include you giving up smoking, reducing stress and eating a well-balanced diet.

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Cwmbran Dental Care
19a Caradoc Road,
NP44 1PP
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