Gum disease is described as swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Gingivitis means ‘inflammation of the gums’. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning.
Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out.
At our practice we screen for gingivitis and periodontal disease. We offer appointments with our hygienist who will scale your teeth to remove plaque and tartar. More importantly, she wil advise on effective cleaning techniques for you to carry out at home.
In cases where periodontal disease is advancing, we will refer to a specialist.
Visit dentalhealth.org for more information about caring for teeth with gum disease.