Gum Disease (Gingivitis)
Gingivitis is the most common type of periodontal disease. Plaque accumulates on the teeth. Bacteria in the plaque irritates the gums and cause them to become red and swollen. The gums bleed easily with brushing and flossing. These bacteria give off substances known as toxins which destroy the fibres that connect the tooth to the gum and bone thus creating a gap between the tooth and the gum. This space allows more and more bacteria to settle in this area. The inflammation then becomes more severe. The tissue loosens and the gum moves away from the tooth resulting in a larger space which we now refer to as a "pocket". This pocket will become larger and deeper and start to dissolve the bone and fibres supporting the teeth. This is a very difficult spot to clean, and will require excellent oral hygiene to solve the problem. Gingivitis in its early stages can be treated and its progression halted or even reversed.
Preventing gum disease:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, giving special attention to the back teeth. They are likely to have more plaque on them because they are hard to reach.
- Floss daily
- Change your toothbrush every 2 - 3 months
- Always use a soft brush, with a small head
- If your gums bleed, don’t stop brushing and flossing
- Visit the dentist and oral hygienist at least two times a year
- Check your gums in the mirror. Look for changes in colour and texture