GUM DISEASE

Gum disease is a preventable disease that can affect your oral health and overall health, the good news  is that if it’s caught early enough, it can be treated. Leaving gum disease to develop can cause irreversible damage to teeth and gums, that’s why it’s better to see a dentist regularly who can identify the early signs and prevent it from advancing.

Causes of Gum Disease

Gum disease (known as periodontal disease) is one of the most common oral health problems worldwide, in fact roughly 20% of Australians have some form of gum disease throughout their lives. 

Like tooth decay, it’s caused by bacteria that build up on the teeth in the form of plaque. When bacteria reaches the gumline, it can irritate or infect the gums, causing inflammation. Plaque can build up when:

  • You don’t brush and floss properly
  • You consume too much sugar and starch, which feeds bacteria
  • Your mouth is dry

If you think you might have gum disease and you want to discuss treatments with a Kelmscott dentist, call our team today on (08) 9495 7999 or book online.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis

There are two types of gum disease, depending on how far the disease has progressed.

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease and is reversible. It occurs when plaque infects the gums, leading to swelling, redness or bleeding. If you see traces of blood when you brush your teeth, it’s usually a sign of gingivitis.

Periodontitis is the advanced stage where plaque has been left untreated and has started to attack the gums, surrounding tissues and jaw bone supporting the teeth. It’s an irreversible condition that can lead to gum recession, jaw bone loss and tooth loss. At this stage, the damage can only be slowed down and managed, but not reversed.

Signs of Gum Disease

Common symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Gums feel sore or tender
  • Gums bleed when you brush your teeth
  • Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth

Common symptoms of periodontitis will also include:

  • Receding gums
  • Painful or sensitive teeth or gums
  • Loose or missing teeth

Don’t wait until you have severe symptoms to treat gum disease. Contact our dentists so we can examine your teeth and gums and discuss periodontal treatment.

Far-Reaching Effects of Gum Disease

Gum disease can be uncomfortable, but if it’s not treated it could cause permanent damage to gums, teeth and jaws. When left untreated, gum disease can also increase your risks for other serious health problems, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke
  • Respiratory disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Treating gum disease as early as possible can help to lower your overall health risks. Our dentists at Kelmscott Dental can prepare a treatment plan to help slow down the effects of gum disease. Ask our team for information today, call (08) 9495 7999 or book an appointment online.

Gum Disease and Periodontal Treatment

Gum disease in its early stage can usually be reversed by improving your oral hygiene at home and seeing a dental hygienist for a professional clean. Our hygienist at Kelmscott Dental will clean and scale your teeth to remove plaque and calculus from around the gums and apply fluoride to protect your teeth against further plaque build-up.

More advanced gum disease may require periodontal treatment, which can include deep scaling, root planing or minor surgery to remove bacteria and infections from below the gumline. We may also prescribe antibiotics, pain relief and discuss bone or gum grafts to repair any damage.

To find out more about gum disease treatments or book an appointment with our Kelmscott dentists, call us on (08) 9495 7999 or contact us today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is the infection of the gums by bacteria in plaque. This triggers an inflammation response in the gums, which can make them red, swollen and bleed easily.

The early stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which can usually be treated without lasting damage. The advanced stage is periodontitis, which can eventually lead to receding gums or tooth loss.

How can I prevent gum disease from developing?

Gum disease can usually be prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene. This includes regular brushing and flossing, avoiding food and drink with too much sugar, drinking plenty of water and keeping up with your routine dental check-ups and hygiene appointments.

Is it OK if my gums bleed?

Bleeding gums are often a sign of gum disease, but they could also mean that you’re brushing your teeth too roughly or using a hard toothbrush. Switching to a softer toothbrush, brushing gently in circular motions and flossing between teeth daily should stop your gums from bleeding, but you should also visit  a dentist or hygienist for advice if you’re concerned.

Can I treat gum disease at home?

Mild gum disease (gingivitis) can sometimes be treated by improving your brushing, flossing and diet. Your dentist may also recommend using an antibacterial mouthwash. However, it’s also recommended that you see a dentist or hygienist for professional teeth cleaning and scaling to remove plaque from around the gumline.

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2915 Albany Highway
Kelmscott WA 6111, Australia

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