What causes gum disease and can it be treated?

Gum disease affects around 14% of the global adult population. There are two different types of gum disease; gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease and if detected early enough, is often reversible. If gingivitis is left untreated or detected too late, the disease will worsen into periodontitis – a permanent and serious condition. Read on to find out the symptoms, causes and treatments of the different levels of gum disease.

What are the main symptoms of gum disease?

The following are common symptoms of gum disease:

  • Red and inflamed gums
  • Bleeding gums whilst brushing your teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Sore and painful gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Receding gums (periodontitis)

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by an excess of plaque which builds up on the surface and in the little gaps between your teeth. Plaque is a form of bacteria which forms on the teeth every day and is removed when we brush our teeth. However to completely remove plaque, you need to ensure you are flossing every day to prevent build up.

Can vaping cause gum disease?

Vaping/using e-cigarettes is not without its risks to your gum health. Although healthier than smoking in terms of nicotine content, just like smoking, vaping can cause gum disease and often make it worse. Vaping dries out your mouth which means less saliva is produced, giving plaque the opportunity to multiply. This can lead to periodontal disease, a serious infection of the tissue that holds your teeth in place.

Can gum disease be treated?

Luckily, because gum disease develops slowly it can be reduced before the symptoms are irreversible. This is done through cutting out bad habits and following a strict oral hygiene regime.

If untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis. Periodontitis causes your gums to fade away, creating deep pockets between your teeth and gum which expose the roots of your teeth. This can make you prone to tooth loss as there is less of a supportive structure for your teeth to use.

If you are diagnosed with periodontitis, unfortunately no treatment will reverse the condition. However, having regular hygienist appointments and following a strict hygiene routine can slow down the progression of the disease.

Preventing gum disease

At Regent Dental Care, we believe that prevention is better than a cure. To prevent gum disease from forming or coming back, you need to improve your dental hygiene regime by doing the following things every day:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss your teeth daily
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste
  • Use mouthwash 30 minutes after you brush your teeth
  • Drink more water
  • Chew sugarless gum
  • Pay regular visits to your dentist

At Regent Dental Care, our team will do everything they can to help ensure your gums are in, and stay in the best possible condition. Established for over 30 years, we would love to take you on as a new patient. Get in touch with our practice today by filling out our online form https://www.regentdentalcentre.co.uk/appointment-enquiry/ or calling us on 0161 941 2143.

Website last updated: April 2024

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