Gum disease, also called periodontitis, occurs when a bacterial infection develops where the gums join the teeth. Symptoms may include red, swollen and bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, loose teeth and tooth sensitivity.
Harmful bacteria group together in a complex structure called biofilm and release chemicals that cause inflammation of the gums and periodontal tissue (bone and support structures around the teeth). If left untreated, this inflammation can cause receding gums and bone loss from around the teeth. Gum disease once it advances is such a serious infection, that it will destroy the supporting structures that hold the teeth into your jaw, causing loose teeth, abscesses and ultimately tooth loss.
And even more serious and worrying is this ….
Bacteria associated with periodontal disease travels into the bloodstream and may result in other adverse health effects. There are many, many research studies that show gum disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, infected orthopedic implants and preterm births. This makes early detection and proper treatment of gum and periodontal diseases critical if you wish to have overall good health.
Facts About Gum Disease
- Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection often characterized by red, swollen gums that may bleed easily
- Periodontal disease is the number 1 cause of tooth loss in adults
- More than half of people over age 30 have some form of periodontal disease
- Periodontal disease can be painless and may go undetected
- Oral health plays an important role in total body health
- Bacteria associated with periodontal disease can travel into the bloodstream and may result in other adverse health effects. Early detection of periodontal disease is critical to maintaining overall health
- Regular dental visits and gum/periodontal assessments are key components of high-quality oral care and your overall health
How to Tell if You Have Gum Disease
HEALTHY GUMS: Firm, pink gums that do not bleed when probed by your dentist or hygienist or when flossed or brushed. There is no loss of gum tissue or bone structure.
GINGIVITIS: Red, swollen gums, bleeds when probed, brushed or flossed. There is a potential loss of gum tissue but no bone loss.
EARLY CHRONIC PERIODONTITIS: Red, swollen gums, bleeds when probed, brushed or flossed. Pocket formation (gaps between the gum and the tooth) and gum recession occurs. Bacterial biofilm and inflammation result in loss of gum attachment and bone support for teeth.
ADVANCED CHRONIC PERIODONTITIS: Heavy bleeding when flossed, brushed, or probed. Severe loss of gum attachment and very deep pockets form. Significant destruction of bone support leading to tooth mobility, tooth drift or movement, pus and possible tooth loss.
If you are unsure about the health of your gums or have any concerns about your dental health then call to schedule your dental check up and gum assessment today.
07 3720 1811