Periodontal (gum) disease

What is it?

Periodontal disease affects the bone supporting the teeth. People with chronic cases of periodontal disease, eventually have to have teeth extracted, as much of the bone is lost and teeth become loose. You can prevent periodontal disease from getting worse by maintaining a good dental care routine and making regular visits to your dentist or hygienist.

There are two stages of gum disease:

  • The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. This is when the gums become red and swollen. Such inflammation can be cured with good oral hygiene.
  • The second stage is called chronic periodontitis. People with chronic cases of periodontal disease, eventually have to have teeth extracted, as some of the bone is lost and teeth become loose. Although, periodontitis cannot be reversed once it has developed, you can prevent it from getting worse, if you clean your teeth properly and have regular treatment from your dentist or hygienist, who may recommend deep scaling or Root planing.

What should I do if I suspect that I have gum disease?

You should visit your dentist for an examination, so that they can check your teeth and gums and prescribe what treatment is required. Usually the dentist will illustrate how to clean your teeth effectively in order to remove all of the plaque.

What can I do to help prevent gum disease?

Dentists recommend that you should use a small-headed toothbrush with 'rounded' bristles, so that it doesn't cause any damage to your gums. Your dentist or hygienist may also recommend other ways of cleaning the difficult to reach areas of your mouth, such as the joints between teeth and under the gum line. Using dental floss can be very useful to clean these areas.