Gum Disease

What Is Gum Disease?

 

There are three stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis: This is the earliest stage of gum disease. Inflammation of the gums caused by plaque build-up at the gumline. If daily brushing and flossing do not remove the plaque, it produces toxins (poisons) that can irritate the gums, causing gingivitis. You may notice some bleeding during brushing and flossing. At this early stage in gum disease, damage is reversible, since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected.
  • Periodontitis: At this stage, the supporting bone and fibres that hold your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. Your gums may begin to form a pocket below the gumline, which traps food and plaque. Proper dental treatment and improved home care can usually help prevent further damage.
  • Advanced Periodontitis: In this final stage of gum disease, the fibres and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed, which can cause your teeth to move or become loose. This can affect your bite and, if aggressive treatment can't save them, teeth may need to be removed.

 

How Do I Know if I Have Gum Disease?

Gum disease can occur at any age, but it is most common among adults. If detected in its early stages, gum disease can be reversed - The following are some of the signs and symptoms of gum disease:

  • Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender
  • Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
  • Gums that have separated, or pulled away, from your teeth, creating a pocket
  • Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
  • Pus coming from between your teeth and gums
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth

 

How is Gum Disease Treated?

  • The early stages of gum disease can often be reversed with proper brushing and flossing or use of interdental brushes. Good oral health will help keep plaque from building up.
  • A professional cleaning is the only way to remove plaque that has built up and hardened into tartar. We provide treatment that will clean or "scale" your teeth to remove the tartar above and below the gumline. If your condition is more severe, a root planing procedure may be performed. Root planing helps to smooth irregularities on the roots of the teeth making it more difficult for plaque to deposit there.


By scheduling regular checkups, early stage gum disease can be treated before it leads to a much more serious condition. If your condition is more advanced, treatment will be required



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Healthy Gums - Healthy gums are firm and don't bleed. They fit snugly around the teeth.


 
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Gingivitis - Gums are mildly inflamed, may appear red or swollen and may bleed during brushing


 
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Periodontitis - Gums begin to separate and recede from the teeth. This allows plaque to move toward the roots, supporting fibers and bone.