94% of people have gum disease.
Gum disease is more serious than tooth decay because it seldom causes pain and because people are less aware of it. Many more teeth are lost through gum disease than from tooth decay.
Gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a sticky film made up of millions of bacteria and everyone has it! It can’t be rinsed off, only brushing and flossing can remove it. If plaque is left it starts to ‘calcify’ and forms hard deposits on teeth (calculus) above and below the gums. Hard deposits give even more area for plaque to build up and make thorough brushing and flossing difficult. Only a dentist or therapist can remove this hard disease.
Healthy gums are pale pink in colour and have a matt surface, a firm consistency and their edges are finely tapered. They never bleed when probed by the dentist or when brushing or flossing!
As plaque builds up on teeth it tends to collect around and under the edge of the gum. The bacteria in plaque produce toxins which attack the gum. This causes inflammation, swelling and slight bleeding at the gum edge. You may notice the bleeding when you brush your teeth. This condition is called gingivitis.
If the plaque bacteria continue their attack they will destroy the tissue that holds the gum and tooth together. The gum recedes or pulls away from the tooth and this is how pockets are formed. Plaque bacteria can then collect in the pockets and as they deepen the bone structure holding the tooth can be destroyed. This can lead to loosening of the tooth and tooth loss. This is called Periodontitis.
The Good News
With our new bacteria microscope we can show you the bacteria that are living in your mouth – alive, moving and eating your gums! Gum disease is completely preventable and we can help you to prevent it. If you have gingivitis we can help you cure it. If you have periodontal disease we can help you to halt it in its tracks and stop it getting worse.
Gum disease is preventable – We’re here to help!