Periodontal Disease: Symptoms to Look Out For

This winter, we’re determined to get rid of gum disease for good and we’re encouraging all our patients to keep up to date with regular check-ups and take steps at home to reduce the risk of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is an advanced form of gum disease that causes irreversible damage to the gums and affects the stability of the teeth. Periodontal disease affects the bone tissue, which holds the teeth in place, eventually causing them to come loose. Periodontal disease usually develops when gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, is left untreated.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by harmful bacteria that release plaque acids that irritate the gums and result in them becoming sore, swollen and tender. Plaque acids are released by bacteria, which gather in the mouth as a result of poor oral hygiene. The risk of gum disease is also increased by smoking. Diet can also increase the risk of developing gum disease and we strongly recommend a healthy, balanced diet and avoiding consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks on a regular basis.

Preventing gum disease

Good oral hygiene is the best form of defence against harmful bacteria and we recommend brushing twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time, flossing and using inter-dental brushes. We also advise patients to stick to regular 6 monthly check-ups and to be vigilant for the warning signs of gum disease. Symptoms to look out for include inflammation, soreness and redness in the gums and bleeding gums. Advanced symptoms include an unpleasant taste in the mouth, loose teeth and the development of pockets between the teeth and gums. We also encourage our patients to keep an eye on their sugar intake.

If you notice any signs of gum disease, it’s really important to see your dentist as early as you can. Leaving gum disease untreated increases the risk of it becoming more serious and causing permanent damage to your teeth and gums.