Dentists look after gums as well as teeth. The bacteria that cause tooth decay can also infect gums, causing problems that are very serious. When we clean our teeth we are also protecting our gums, especially when we floss.
Our gums can easily be infected if we neglect our dental hygiene.
Symptoms of gum infections include:
- Sore gums
- Discolouration, deep red, purple, pale pink or white, of gums
- Bleeding gums
- Sore Teeth that might move under slight pressure
- Abscesses are a sure sign of infection, either of the tooth root or gums.
- Gum infections can cause tiredness and confused thinking.
There are two main levels of Gum infection, Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Both are serious, but periodontitis is worse, and not completely curable.
This is a moderate gum infection. It is caused by bacteria in the mouth infecting the gum. Brushing, flossing and use of mouthwash greatly reduce the risk of gingivitis.
Though gingivitis is moderately serious it can be cured with a few weeks of regular (twice daily) brushing, flossing and use of mouthwash. A Healthy diet also lowers the risk of infection.
If left untreated gingivitis can grow progressively worse, and turn into a more serious periodontal disease.
Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that is often, but not always, preceded by gingivitis. It involves both the bacteria infection associated with gingivitis as well as an additional type of bacteria.
Periodontitis requires dental/medical treatment. It will not heal on its own accord. Dentists or periodontists use antibiotics and prescription medication, including prescription mouthwash, to cure this stubborn infection.
If caught early the periodontitis can be cured with medical intervention. But more often periodontitis can only be controlled. Our gums stay infected, our dental hygiene keeps the infection at a moderate level.
If left untreated periodontitis will cause the loss of bone in the jaw, leading to tooth loss. This will only grow worse with time. Our gums are also very important. And if the gums get infected then we risk losing teeth and risk suffering other health problems later on. The bacteria in periodontitis have links to chronic fatigue syndrome and heart disease and dementia.
Smokers and people suffering from diabetes have an increased risk of periodontal disease.
It is important to look after our tooth and gum health. A regular check-up can address problems before they become serious. Make an appointment today.
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