What is gum disease?

Posted Jan 18th, 2019

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is a bacterial infection found mainly in adults that is characterized by the inflammation of the gums. It can range from gingivitis, to the more serious issue of advanced periodontitis. Here, our Edmonton dentists explain more. 

What causes inflammation of the gums?

When natural bacteria in the mouth combine with mucus and food particles, it forms plaque (a sticky, colourless film).

If not removed, plaque hardens into tartar, which eventually begins to attack tooth enamel and gum tissue causing the inflammation of the gums, or gum disease.  

How do I know if I have gum disease?

It is important to diagnose gum disease early in order to treat it effectively, but the initial signs are often painless and hard to detect.

If you are experiencing any of the following signs, check with your dentist to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment:

  • Inflamed gums (red, swollen, bleeding)
  • Bad breath that won’t go away (halitosis)
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Pus around the teeth and gums
  • Mouth sores
  • Loose teeth
  • Changes in bite function
  • New spaces between teeth

What can I do about it?

The sooner you can receive a diagnosis and start treatment, the better.

If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth and bone loss. The bacteria can also get into your bloodstream and spread to other parts of your body, sometimes causing additional health problems. 

Attending regular dental check-ups is a good way to prevent gum disease and also give your dentist an opportunity to identify any developing issues.

It’s also important to maintain a good oral health care routine at home between check-ups. Your dentist may even suggest some lifestyle changes that you can make to help prevent inflammation.

If you think you may have gum disease, contact our Edmonton dentists to schedule an appointment.

 

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