What is gum disease and how can you stop it in its tracks?

Posted on: 29 May 2015


If you have ever experienced a swelling of your gums, you will know that this can be an unpleasant sensation in the mouth. It is most probably a sign of some degree of gum disease. This might sound terrifying, but it's actually not something to get too stressed about. In fact, half of adults experience gum disease to some degree. Although this shouldn't give you a sleepless night, it is a sign to do something about it now before the problem gets any worse.

What actually causes gum disease?

When your gums become inflamed, this is a sign that your body is fighting back against something. In the case of gum disease, the blood vessels are fighting a bacterial infection of plaque. Alas, the bacteria in your mouth tend to put up a good fight and they will launch a counter attack on your gums. This will cause them to become fragile and bleed.

That doesn't sound so bad. Is it really that serious?

In its early stages, gum disease is not such a stress inducing thing, but if proper oral hygiene is not maintained and the bacteria continues to attack, your inflamed gums will worsen and lead to more problems. Beyond the gums, bacteria will start to work on the bone, which is an important anchor for the teeth. The teeth will then start to feel loose and they could even fall out.

Is there anything that can be done about this?

There are many preventative measures that you can take to give you healthy teeth and gums. You want to create an environment in your mouth that is so clean that bacteria just won't want to stick around.  The first step is, of course, to brush your teeth twice a day. Toothpastes contain antibacterial ingredients such as triclosan. And don't just brush your teeth but also place a focus on your gums with a soft bristled brush to ensure that you do not further aggravate your gums.

Brushing is great for cleaning the surface area that is exposed, but is not so successful at getting in between your teeth. For this reason, it's also a great idea to introduce flossing into your daily dental hygiene regimen.

And while it might not be an activity that you relish, it's also extremely important to see a dentist at a clinic, like Rutherford Dental, at least twice a year. They will be able to give your mouth a deep clean and will be able to spot any tell-tale signs of gum disease that you might not notice yourself.