Gum disease or periodontal disease, is a more common condition than most people realise. Due to this, it can really creep up on you – something you truly do want to avoid happening. When present, gum disease can result in the gums becoming swollen, sore or even infected. As mentioned, gum disease is very common and actually, most people will experience it at some point during their lifetime.
The key symptoms of gum disease
Let’s start with outlining what healthy gums should look like! If your gums are in tip top condition and healthy as can be, then they’ll be pink, firm and a solid foundation for your teeth – keeping them secure and non-wobbly. Whilst brushing your teeth, they should hold up to the touch of the bristles at a fair amount of pressure. There should be no bleeding and they shouldn’t feel overly sensitive.
Please be aware that gum disease is not always painful and so it can be difficult to notice. That’s why you should visit your dentist every 6 months for check ups where they’ll be able to give you the all clear.
When gum disease first takes flight, you can expect to notice;
- Redder than usual gums
- Swollen tissue in the gum area
- Bleeding whilst brushing/flossing your teeth
This initial stage is called gingivitis. If left untreated, periodontal disease may ensue.
These advanced symptoms include;
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- An unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Loose or painful teeth
- Pus or abscesses under the gums
There is one final stage of gum disease called Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG). This can develop quickly and has even more sever symptoms than periodontal disease.
If you are a sufferer of ANUG then expect;
- Bleeding painful gums
- Ulcers in the mouth
- Gums starting to recede
- Bad breath
- The taste of metal in your mouth
- Excess saliva
- Hard to swallow
If you feel that you have the symptoms of gum disease, even in the slightest, then it is highly recommended to book in for a check up at your local dentist in Cardiff. There you’ll be able to get an expert opinion that will either put you in the all clear or get to work bringing your dental health back to it’s best. Avoiding the issue will only result in your gum disease becoming more severe, resulting in the loss of teeth.
What are the main causes of gum disease?
The root cause of gum disease is the untreated build up of plaque on the teeth. You’ve probably heard of plaque before, it’s a sticky substance that is full of bacteria. Those bacteria filter into different categories, some are harmless and some are detrimental to the health of your teeth and gums. A lack of dental care will lead to the build up of this plaque and that’s when gum disease can begin to take effect.
What can you do to reduce the risk of gum disease?
Usually, you can intercept gum disease and take control with relative ease. A strong level of oral hygiene can start to reverse the effect – often a visit to your dentist for advice on how to maintain oral hygiene can help you on this journey. However it is advised to include the following into your oral health routine:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day
- Flossing daily at a minimum
- Dental check ups every 6 months for a deep clean
During your dental check ups you’ll be able to get a very thorough clean from your hygienist. This ensures the removal of built up plaque that you may have difficulty getting to by yourself. They’ll also be able to remove hardened plaque, known as tartar, that may prove tough to dislodge with your tooth brush or floss. If you have late stage gum disease then it may be that further medical care or even surgery is required to get your dental health back on track. This would be carried out by a trained professional such as a periodontist.
So there you have it, all the key facts about gum disease. If you are concerned that gum disease is becoming an issue for you then please book in for a check up at your local dentist in Cardiff.