2 June 2023

Understanding Gum Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Understanding Gum Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, affects a significant number of people worldwide. It is a common oral health issue that can lead to serious complications if left untreated. In this blog post, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, and various treatment options available for gum disease. By understanding this condition, you can take proactive steps to maintain optimal oral health and prevent further complications.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common oral health condition characterised by inflammation and infection of the gums.

It is primarily caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. When plaque is not adequately removed through regular brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar, which further irritates the gums. This leads to the initial stage of gum disease known as gingivitis, characterised by red, swollen gums that may bleed during brushing or flossing. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease that affects the supporting structures of the teeth. 

Ultimately, gum disease can result in tooth loss and other serious oral health complications. Early detection and prompt treatment are crucial in managing gum disease and preserving optimal oral health.

Causes of Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, can be caused by various factors, most of which are related to poor oral hygiene practises. The primary cause of gum disease is the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. When plaque is not adequately removed through regular brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning. Plaque and tartar create harmful bacteria that produce toxins, leading to inflammation and irritation of the gums.

Other contributing factors to gum disease include smoking, which weakens the immune system and reduces the body's ability to fight infections. Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy or menopause, can also make the gums more susceptible to gum disease. Additionally, certain medical conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and genetic predisposition can increase the risk of developing gum disease. Here you can find out more about what could cause your gum disease.

Poor nutrition, particularly a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates, can contribute to gum disease by promoting bacterial growth and plaque formation. 

Check out here how to have a balanced diet for your oral health.

It is important to note that maintaining good oral hygiene practises, including regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings, can significantly reduce the risk of gum disease. By addressing these causes and adopting a proactive approach to oral care, individuals can help prevent gum disease.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gum disease manifests with various symptoms. Recognising these symptoms is crucial for early detection.

One of the primary symptoms of gum disease is swollen and inflamed gums. Healthy gums should appear pink and firm, but when gum disease is present, the gums may become red and visibly swollen. Additionally, gums affected by gum disease are more prone to bleeding. If you notice blood on your toothbrush or in the sink after oral hygiene practises, it could be a sign of gum disease.

Persistent bad breath, or halitosis, can also be a symptom of gum disease. The accumulation of bacteria in the mouth can lead to an unpleasant odour that does not go away even after brushing or using mouthwash.

Gum disease can cause gums to recede or pull away from the teeth, resulting in exposed tooth roots. Receding gums may lead to tooth sensitivity and discomfort, particularly when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages.

As gum disease progresses, it can cause the formation of pockets or spaces between the gums and teeth. These pockets may trap food particles and bacteria, leading to an increase in plaque and tartar. In advanced stages of gum disease, the pockets deepen, and teeth may become loose or shift in position.

Changes in bite alignment or the way the teeth fit together can also indicate gum disease. If you notice a change in how your teeth fit when biting down, it is advisable to seek dental attention.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to consult with a dental professional promptly here at Seapoint Clinic. We can evaluate your oral health, provide an accurate diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment to manage gum disease effectively. Early intervention can help prevent further damage and maintain optimal oral health.

Treatment Options

Treating gum disease typically involves a combination of professional dental interventions and consistent oral hygiene practises. The specific treatment options recommended will depend on the severity and progression of the gum disease. Here at Seapoint Clinic one of our professional dentists will help you remove your gum disease. Check out here our team.

For mild cases of gum disease, professional dental cleaning may be sufficient. This procedure involves removing plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and smoothing the root surfaces to prevent bacterial growth. The dentist or dental hygienist may also help you improve oral hygiene practises at home. Book your hygiene appointment here.

In more advanced cases, additional treatments may be necessary. These can include antibiotic therapy to reduce bacterial infection and inflammation in the gums. Antibiotics may be prescribed or delivered directly to the affected areas using antibiotic gels or mouth rinses.

In some instances, surgical interventions may be required. Gum flap surgery or pocket reduction surgery aims to reduce the depth of the pockets between the gums and teeth, making it easier to maintain proper oral hygiene. Other surgical procedures, such as gum grafting, may be performed to repair receded gums and cover exposed tooth roots.

Preventive measures and ongoing maintenance are crucial in managing gum disease. Regular dental check-ups are recommended to monitor the condition and ensure early detection of any signs of recurrence or further deterioration. Dentists here at Seapoint Clinic can provide guidance on proper oral hygiene techniques, including brushing and flossing, and may recommend specialised tools or mouthwashes for improved plaque control.

The treatment of gum disease is a collaborative effort between the dental professional and the patient. By following the recommended treatment plan, practicing good oral hygiene, and making necessary lifestyle changes, you can effectively manage gum disease and maintain optimal oral health.

Seeking Professional Dental Care at Seapoint Clinic

When it comes to addressing gum disease or any other dental concerns, seeking professional dental care is essential, and Seapoint Clinic is an ideal choice for comprehensive and expert dental treatment. At Seapoint Clinic, patients can expect exceptional dental care.

We have a team of dedicated dentists and specialists. Whether it's routine dental check-ups, diagnosing and treating gum disease, or providing specialised periodontal care, the dental professionals at Seapoint Clinic have the expertise and knowledge to deliver outstanding results.

In summary, when it comes to seeking professional dental care for gum disease or any other dental needs, Seapoint Clinic stands out as your trusted and reputable dental practice. With our skilled professionals, personalised approach, advanced technology, and patient-centered care, Seapoint Clinic is committed to delivering exceptional dental services and helping you achieve optimal oral health.

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