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Gum Disease (also called periodontal disease) is the main cause of tooth loss in adults. Most people will suffer from gum disease at some stage in their life.
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. The signs and symptoms of this are
- red gums
- inflamed gums
- bleeding when you brush or floss
If gingivitis is left untreated it will progress to more serious stages of periodontal disease which can result in gum and bone loss. This means the tooth no longer has a strong support structure and will become wobbly and may have to be extracted.
What causes Gum Disease?
Plaque is the cause of gum disease. Plaque is a sticky, colourless film of bacteria and sugars that forms on our teeth. Without proper dental hygiene it will harden into tartar.
How can you treat Gum Disease?
If you have gum disease you will need to visit your dentist for a good scale and clean and root planning. Root planning is when you dentist will carefully clean the root surfaces of your teeth to remove plaque and tartar from the deep pockets in your gums. This will also remove the existing bacteria.
If gum disease in in its very advanced stages you may be referred to a specialist (a Periodontist) for periodontal surgery.
How to prevent Gum Disease?
You can prevent gum disease by maintaining a good preventative care routine.