What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the swelling and discolouration of the gums, there is usually no pain or discomfort but it can cause the gums to bleed when brushed. It is caused by a build up of plaque. Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease and with the right advice and treatment it’s effects are completely reversible.
Some warning signs of gingivitis are:
- Redness where the gums and teeth meet
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Bad breath.
If left un-treated gingivitis can be the gateway to a more serious gum problem called Periodontal Disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is an infection of the gums and bone that surround the teeth. The main cause is the accumulaion of plaque.
Periodontal Disease develops when plaque and bacteria invade the crevices between the teeth and the gums. Bacteria produce toxins and it’s these toxins combined with your body’s reaction to them that destroys the bone around your teeth. Once bone has been lost it NEVER grows back! When too much bone is lost there’s so little support for the teeth that they become loose and require extraction.
Warning signs of Periodontal Disease:
- Persistent bad breath
- Bleeding gums when brushing/flossing
- Soft, swollen or tender gums
- Shrinking gums
- Loose teeth
- Changes in the spaces between our teeth
- Sometimes (and it’s not uncommon) there are no symptoms at all.
Smoking increases your risk of contracting Periodontal Disease.
It’s also important to note that Periodontal Disease is site specific so if you have it in one tooth, you can prevent it from spreading if you find it early and keep it under control by visiting your dentist regularly.