Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease affects the supporting tissues (bone and gum) round the teeth. These tissues keep the teeth in place. It is caused by bugs (bacteria) in a creamy white substance that builds up around the teeth. This is known as bacterial plaque. The bacteria produce acids and toxins that the body tries to fight and the result is gum disease. Certain things can contribute to gum disease, like smoking, stress, diabetes and susceptibility.
The affected gums can become red and inflamed, a condition known as gingivitis. If left this can lead to bone loss when it becomes known as periodontitis.
How is it treated?
Gum disease is largely preventable. It is caused by the build-up of plaque which needs to be removed each day. For this reason it is crucial that you look after your teeth and gums. The dentist can only clean them approximately 4 days a year, which leaves 361 days where you need to clean them. Careful brushing can remove most plaque, and the use of various cleaning aids between the teeth do help. The dentist or hygienist can show you how to do this. Sometimes the plaque can set hard, tartar, and it can only be removed by the dentist or hygienist using special instruments. Sometimes a referral to an expert in gum disease is needed.
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