Gum Disease

Periodontal Disease & Treatments, Gingivitis

You would have heard about gingivitis and gum disease but do you know the causes of each and what you can do to help prevent either causing you problems?

Gingivitis is caused by sticky bacteria called plaque which feeds off the sugars and starches from food that remains on your teeth.

If this plaque isn’t removed, it inflames your gum tissues leaving them red, swollen and bleeding. As you can imagine, this is likely to be quite painful. If your oral hygiene practices don’t improve, your nasty case of gingivitis may lead to periodontitis (more commonly known as gum disease).

That brings us to another big word: periodontitis. “What’s that, you ask?” Keep reading…

Inflammation from the build-up of plaque and tartar causes a pocket to form between the gums and teeth. This inevitably fills up with plaque and tartar. Although it may surprise you, this is actually the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

If you do learn you’ve got periodontal disease, know that it’s not a life sentence. Gum disease can actually be reversed by practicing healthy habits in the home and by seeking professional care.

Avoiding gum disease

Both gingivitis and periodontal/gum disease can be avoided by seeking professional care annually and by maintaining a regular routine at home. Your preventative care program should include brushing twice daily as well as consistent flossing.

Can periodontal/gum disease be treated?

If you’ve just discovered you’ve got periodontal/gum disease, don’t panic! Your first stop will need to be your dentist where you’ll undergo a good clean. If you’ve got an advanced case, you may be referred onto a specialist to have it treated or see your dentist or hygienist for a series of appointments. Remember: when left untreated, gingivitis may lead to periodontitis which if left unchecked, is likely to lead to tooth loss.


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