Gum disease is the infection of the gums and supporting tissues around your teeth and is mainly caused by plaque. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis which is when the gums around your teeth become red, swollen and bleed when you brush your teeth. The next stage is periodontal disease. If left to develop to this stage, the bone that connects your teeth to your jaw is resorbed and teeth become loose. If untreated teeth will eventually fall out; periodontal disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss other than tooth decay.
The most common symptom is bleeding during tooth brushing. An unpleasant effect of gum disease is bad breath and your gums will be very tender and sore.
Most cases of gum disease are spotted during a thorough initial or routine check up where the gums edges are measured to signify stages of periodontal disease; x-rays can also confirm any bone loss.
Simple cases may involve coordinated sessions with our hygiene therapist to deep clean the tooth surface. Severe cases will be referred to our resident Specialist Periodontist who will remove all infected pockets under local anaesthetic.
Gum disease is mostly preventable, the best way to remove plaque build up is to use proper brushing techniques and floss daily. Regular visits to the hygienist help prevent gum disease.