What does it look like & how do I know if I have it?
‘Gum disease’ is the next stage of Gingivitis & is known as ‘periodontal disease.’ This is when the gums are not only red and angry, but also start to shrink back – this is where the phrase ‘long in the tooth’ originates from… it is not a good thing!
The gums are not the only thing that shrink. The bone inside your gums does too. This results in the teeth being less supported, with large gaps appearing and the teeth start to wobble. If left untreated it will lead to tooth loss – ouch!
How do I avoid getting gum disease?
The number one cause of gum disease is… poorly brushed teeth. This leads to soft plaque building up around the teeth, which quickly becomes hard turning into ‘calculus.’ Calculus is basically a playground for bacteria! Therefore, our immune system fights the calculus. This slowly destroys the teeth and gums and once they are gone, they’re gone! So, rule number 1 is… always brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes!
Some people are more prone to gum disease, because of their genetics – it can be hereditary. If you have a family history of gum disease, please make sure you see our Dentist & Dental hygienist on a regular basis to keep an eye on that!
Some people think gum disease only happens to ‘old people’ – incorrect! We have treated patients in their early 20’s, who have had tooth loss due to gum disease. If you smoke, drink a lot of alcohol or have diabetes, your risk of developing gum disease is much higher.
Can I fix gum disease?
The good news is that gum disease can be stabilized, with regular visits to the Dental Hygienist – there is however no magical cure… The Dental Hygienists are the best in the business when it comes to treating gum disease. They have specialist & innovative tools and materials to remove that bacteria minefield, Calculus.
Here’s an interesting fact – Calculus is like concrete latched onto your teeth. It is tricky to remove, which is why we need our expert Dental Hygienist to do the job. People with active gum disease, will normally need to be seen by the Dental Hygienist every 3 months.
It’s vitally important to look after your teeth at home too! We will show you everything you need to do, to help combat gum disease. Now you might be thinking, “I will just get implants, if my teeth fall out” – well these can be a great investment, but like real teeth they can be lost due to gum disease!
The best option is to look after your teeth proactively – it is so much cheaper in the long run! It is worth putting in the effort now and keeping your teeth rather than having false teeth in the future… Happy brushing!