Gum disease is thought to affect around 20 per cent of Australian adults! It's an unsettling statistic, especially since gum disease is so easily prevented with regular dental cleanings and great oral hygiene. We encourage all of our patients and non-patients alike to learn about our hygiene services and save yourself from gum disease.
Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis
First, it's important to understand that there are two different types of gum disease. The first is gingivitis, which is completely treatable and reversible. It's also the most common.
If left untreated, however, gingivitis will eventually turn into periodontitis (also known as periodontal disease). This disease has three stages: early, moderate, and severe. Unfortunately, periodontal disease cannot be cured or reversed, but it can be treated and its progression stopped with regular cleanings.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common symptoms of gingivitis or periodontal disease include swollen, tender, and red gums (healthy gums should be pink). Furthermore, many people with gum disease find that their gums bleed very easily when brushing, flossing, or even chewing food. Some with gum disease also notice that they have persistent bad breath.
Treatment for Gum Disease
Treating gum disease typically begins with a root planning and scaling procedure, which is essentially a very deep cleaning. Patients are typically numbed during this procedure, as it does involve cleaning deep beneath the gum line.
After this procedure, those with periodontal disease may be called back for regular maintenance cleanings every three to four months. These maintenance cleanings are vital to slowing or stopping the progression of the disease.
Now that you have a better understanding of gum disease, hopefully you can take the steps necessary to prevent or treat it. If you think you may be suffering from gum disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment.