What are the symptoms of gum disease and what is the treatment?

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Specialist Periodontist
Periodontal Care
B.D.Sc. (Birm), MClinDent (Lond),
PGDipCD (Melb), M.R.A.C.D.S (Perio)

gum diseaseGum disease is the combined term popularly used to refer to periodontitis and gingivitis.

If you have either of these conditions you may notice:

  • bleeding when brushing your teeth or sometimes on eating foods such as apples or bread

  • an increase in the looseness of your teeth

  • that your teeth may have moved, causing spaces to open up between your teeth or your teeth to become crowded

  • that your teeth start to appear longer because the gum is shrinking (hence the term “long in the tooth”)

  • that your breath starts to taste bad or is smelt by others

  • that your gums are swelling and looking large and lumpy, often associated with increased bleeding and sometimes a nasty taste.

If any of these signs are present, it is important to seek the appropriate gum disease treatment.

There are usually two stages to gum disease treatment.

  1. Visit your dentist or hygienist to have your teeth cleaned. This will remove the bacteria and their by-products from the surfaces of your teeth. These bacteria and their by-products are what cause the swelling, smell, bleeding and all the other symptoms. Their removal will enable your body to heal and positively respond to the cleaner environment.

2. To maintain this environment, clean your teeth well at least twice per day. This includes brushing your teeth properly and cleaning between your teeth with interdental brushes and floss. It is also important to see your dentist and/or hygienist every six months at least. This will help keep the oral environment clear of the bacteria and the associated bacterial products that caused the initial problem.

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