The two main stages of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is early gum disease and occurs when dental plaque builds up on teeth, particularly where the gum joins the tooth. The signs of gingivitis are bleeding, redness and swelling of the gums.
Periodontitis is an advanced gum disease that may occur if gingivitis is not treated. The gum margin is weakened and spaces form between the tooth and the gum. These spaces are called 'periodontal pockets'. Bacteria and their products become trapped in these pockets causing further inflammation (redness and swelling).
As the disease progresses the bone supporting the teeth is lost, and larger spaces begin to form between the tooth and the gum. Signs of periodontitis include bleeding, swelling and receding gums together with bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth and loose teeth.
Cleaning teeth can help prevent gum disease
You should clean your teeth carefully every day with a soft toothbrush, especially along the gum line where the gum meets the tooth. This ensures the gum tissue and supporting structures remain healthy. The use of dental floss between teeth also assists in removal of plaque.
While it is tempting to avoid cleaning your gums when they are inflamed and bleeding, brushing will help improve the inflammation.
How we can help
Like many medical conditions, early intervention to treat gum diseases can ensure the longevity of your teeth and its supporting structures. We examine our patient's gums with a probe to measure the spaces between the tooth and gum. This allows us to determine the health of your gums and its supporting structures carefully.
North Road Dental Centre in Bentleigh can treat gum diseases, provide advice on tooth cleaning techniques, and can clean your teeth professionally to remove any plaque and calculus safely.
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