Equally concerning is the potential effect on general health, since there is now has an established association between periodontal disease and other general health problems such as Diabetes and Heart Disease.
Periodontal disease is caused when bacterial dental plaque, a sticky biofilm, builds up around the tooth next to the gums, and isn’t properly removed when brushing, flossing or using bottle – brushes in between the teeth.
The plaque bacteria produce harmful toxins, prompting your body’s immune system to fight the infection, leading to gum inflammation, which will eventually lead to damage to the gums and permanent loss of bone support with teeth becoming loose.
This plaque hardens to form tartar and at this stage can only be professionally removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.
Initially, symptoms of early periodontal disease, called gingivitis, are quite subtle and easy to miss. They include gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss or look red and swollen and feel tender to touch. If you recognise these signs, please come and see us immediately.
Ideally, we can diagnose and treat periodontal disease while it is still in its early stage and when it is reversible. Otherwise, it will develop into periodontitis, a considerably more serious form of the disease. Symptoms of periodontitis include bad breath and a persistently nasty taste. In addition, your teeth may look longer as your gums recede, and you might notice changes to your bite as teeth start to loosen.
When you visit us regularly, we can monitor your gum health closely, and if you have any signs of gingivitis, we can provide treatment promptly. Our hygienist will clean your teeth professionally, getting rid of plaque and tartar buildup so you can fight this infection more easily. At the same time, we can review your daily oral care routine and share useful tips and advice on how to improve it. If you follow this advice and clean your teeth regularly, your gum health should soon improve within a few weeks. It is important to persevere with this routine, even if your gums initially bleed. As your gums get stronger, the bleeding will stop.
If you have established gum disease, you will need more extensive “deep cleaning” to arrest any further deterioration of the damage to the bone that supports your teeth
Treatment of this chronic condition will be ongoing with a regular professional Maintenance cleaning every 4-6 months to contain and prevent any recurrence and deterioration.