Gum Disease Risks, Causes & Symptoms
Periodontitis or gum disease begins with bacteria growing in your mouth.
You may think, what’s the worst that can happen? Well, for a start, tooth loss.
And we don’t wish to frighten you, but we’ve had patients lose an entire arch of teeth through gum disease, which could have sadly been prevented.
So, if you’re struggling with sore gums, bad breath and plaque build-up, it’s time to end the destruction of your tissue and step forward to claim a healthier, fresher mouth.Get in touch
Gingivitis is the early stages of gum disease before it develops into the more serious periodontal disease. Once you reach periodontitis, we cannot reverse it, only slow it down. Gingivitis can be reversed though - so don't wait!
Don't wait until it's too late
Gum disease begins with gingivitis, which has mild symptoms and is easy to ignore (no big deal, right).
But without treatment, gingivitis can grow out of control and lead to periodontitis. And this means big problems for your mouth. Early-stage gum disease can be reversed through hygienist appointments and rigorous brushing and flossing at home.
However, periodontitis cannot be reversed, just slowed down. When the disease has progressed to this level, the inner layer of the gum will begin to pull away from the teeth and form pockets, which are small black triangular spaces between teeth which collect debris and become infected.
The biggest consequence is tooth loss
Toxins and poisons produced by the bacteria in plaque start to break down the bone and connective tissues holding teeth in their positions.
As the disease progresses, the black pockets will begin to deepen, and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed in the process.
Once this begins to happen, teeth are no longer anchored in place and start to become loose, eventually leading to tooth loss.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Let that sink in.
Symptoms of gum disease
Check if you have gum disease:
- Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth, floss or eat hard foods
- Gums are swollen, red and sore
- You have a bad taste in your mouth
- You suffer from bad breath or a smell coming off your gums
- Gums have begun to shrink
- Teeth are wobbly, loose or have fallen out
When to see the dentist:
- If your gums begin to bleed when brushing your teeth or eating hard foods
- When your gums are painful and swollen
We would advise asking for an urgent dental appointment if your child is displaying any of the above symptoms, or has a ulcers or red patches on their mouth.
Causes of gum disease
When you forget to brush, floss or rinse your mouth with mouthwash, a sticky film of bacteria develops over the teeth.
From this, plaque builds up and releases acids that attack the tooth’s outer shells (enamel).
After 72 hours, the plaque begins to harden into tartar, which forms on the gum line and makes it difficult for you to brush your teeth effectively.
Over time, the build-up irritates and inflames your gums and causes gingivitis.
Gum disease can also be hereditary. If your family is known to have a history of the disease, then patients are more likely to experience problems with their gums throughout their lifetime.