It is often assumed that if you look after your teeth you can stop worrying about the health of your mouth. Gum disease is far more of a problem in the adult population than dental decay. It has been linked to several serious conditions such as heart disease, strokes and diabetes.
It is far and away the main reason adults have to have teeth extracted.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums where they become red and swollen, often accompanied with bleeding. This can then progress to periodontal disease which affects the tissues supporting the teeth.
Periodontal disease is slow acting but progressive. It does not usually cause pain so you may not notice the damage until it is quite severe.
Then it can lead to abscesses, sore gums and ultimately teeth becoming loose.
All gum disease is caused by plaque, a film of bacteria that forms on the surface of the teeth. If left in place plaque calcifies into hard tartar which is far more difficult to remove. The signs of gum disease are bleeding from the gums when brushing or eating, you may get a bad taste and your breath can become unpleasant.
Treating gum disease will involve your dentist removing all plaque & tartar from your teeth. A good oral care regime at home is essential backed up with regular scale and polishes at your dentist at least every 6 months. You will never get back the bone support that has been lost but it should be possible to stop (or at least slow down) any further loss, preventing future tooth loss.
Preventing periodontal problems should be your main concern and is easily achievable with a good home oral care regime coupled with regular scale and polishes at your dental clinic.
Dr. Paul Saliba, British Dental Practice