Gum disease: all you need to know


Gum disease is still one of the biggest issues seen by dentists. It can be catastrophic to dental health if left untreated, and so it’s really important that people are able to see the signs and symptoms early. For this reason today we’re going to focus on gum disease: cause, symptoms and cures.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is also known professionally as gingivitis and is an infection of the gums. This infection starts out through bacteria build-up which turns to plaque and then tartar. The infection is caused through acids being released by the plaque. Technically speaking the body causes the infection in order to protect itself, which is why the area becomes red, inflamed and sometimes bleeds. However this can, if left, cause tooth loss.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

tooth pain

Now is a good time to mention that it’s been reported that over half of adults have some form of gum disease, which gives us a clue as to how hard and tricky it is to notice we’re suffering. In the very early stages it can be very hard to spot that you’ve developed some disease. Naturally our gums are a pink colour and don’t look swollen and certainly don’t bleed. As gum disease develops you’ll likely notice the opposite of this; so red, swollen and bleeding gums. You might also notice that your breath isn’t pleasant or that you have a weird taste in your mouth. As gum disease develops still further the symptoms worsen and patients could notice receding gums, wobbly teeth and even pus coming from the gums, but hopefully you’ll have been able to get to a dentist before that stage is reached.

How to treat gum disease

Gum disease when caught early can be treated very easily by the hygienist. A hygienist is a particular type of dental professional who cares especially for the health of patients’ gums. They have special tools and techniques to perform a scale and polish which is essentially a really deep clean of the teeth. Once any build-up has been removed the teeth will begin to naturally return to their healthy state.

The second part of the hygienist’s role is to ensure that patients know what they need to do moving forward to avoid another build-up at a later date. Oral hygiene is the biggest resource in the prevention of gum disease and decay, as when best practices are conscientiously followed it’s highly unlikely patients will have dental issues.

Oral hygiene best practices


Oral hygiene doesn’t need to be complicated or take heaps of time. The most important element is that patients are cleaning their teeth at least twice per day for two to three minutes and that within this time they’re spending an equal amount of time on each quarter of the mouth. It’s important to use good technique and brushing around the teeth and gums and not just back and forward over the teeth. There are lots of online tutorials on this.

The second most important element is flossing. Flossing is the only way you’re able to reach deep into the gum line to remove bacteria and yet thousands of us still won’t commit to this step each day. If dental health is something you want to take seriously then flossing is a must.

Search for a dentist near me to find a dentist who can examine you for gum disease and help.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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