Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. The word periodontal literally means 'around the tooth'. Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.
Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) cause the gums to become inflamed.
So what is the solution? Can we solely depend on mouth rinse, tooth brushes and tooth paste that can really cure or prevent gum disease? Each product you pick all have different properties that address various problems such as sensitive teeth, reduce plaque build-up, whiten teeth, or decrease bad breath.
The first thing we can do to try and progress our dental health with gum disease is to make sure we are removing plaque from the surface of our teeth every 24 hours. That means spending time in the restroom brushing and working on our techniques in brushing to reduce the amount of plaque we have. One of the best ways to see if you are doing a fair job is to use disclosing tablets to see what plaque is left behind on your teeth, gums and tongue after brushing. This will allow you to go back and address the areas that may need more attention.
You may be at risk of gum disease if you answer yes to any of the following questions:
- Do your gums ever bleed?
- Are your teeth loose?
- Have your gums receded, or do your teeth look longer?
- Do you smoke or use tobacco products?
- Have you had any adult teeth extracted?
- Has it been more than 2 years since seeing a dentist?
- Have any of your family members had gum disease?
In the mildest form of the disease, gingivitis, the gums redden, swell and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.