Gum Disease

Gum disease

Gum disease is a disease caused by oral bacteria. It has different degrees of seriousness and if left untreated it may destroy the bone and the gums surrounding the teeth causing them to become loose and increasing the risk of losing them. It is important to visit your dentist here at Lighthouse Dental in Ipswich regularly and to follow oral hygiene advice carefully, since gum disease if often not noticed by the patients until it becomes painful at which stage it may be too late to treat it successfully.

It is also called periodontal disease. It ranges from gingivitis, to serious disease that results in damage to the bone. In gingivitis (simple gum inflammation), the gums become red and swollen. They can bleed easily.

What causes gum disease?

Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky plaque on teeth. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form tartar that brushing doesn't clean.

If the plaque and tartar are not removed the bacteria will cause inflammation of the gums that is called gingivitis.

In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place.
If you leave your gingivitis untreated it can lead to periodontitis. Now, the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that are infected. If you don’t treat them, the bones, gums and connective tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.

Healthy gums and teeth
Gingivitis
Periodontitis
Advanced Periodontitis

How do you know if you have periodontal disease?

Symptoms are often not visible until the disease is advanced. They can include: bad breath, red or swollen gums, tender or bleeding gums, painful chewing, loose teeth and sensitive teeth.

What is the way of helping to stop gum disease?

The number and types of treatment will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. You can reverse this with daily brushing and flossing and seeing their dentist regularly. Eat a well balanced diet and don’t use tobacco products. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing.