Periodontal Disease : Prevention & Management

What are the signs and causes of gum disease ?
Irritation, redness, swelling and bleeding gums — these are early and obvious indicators that the gums are unhealthy and may already be infected.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by dental plaque which contain bacteria that will destroy teeth and gums if not removed regularly. Plaque is a colourless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth.  By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous oral disease and they all require a different treatment approach. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals.  Adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected by some form of gum disease at least once in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good  tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors. However, it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings.
What happens If Gum Disease Remains Untreated?
Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins that irritate the gums cause them to become red, swollen and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.
Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.