Everything You Need to Know About Gum Disease

We all know how important proper oral hygiene is for our overall health, yet many in Australia struggle with conditions such as gum disease, tooth decay, and Gingivitis. In Australia, 3 in 10 adults have moderate to severe gum disease, but luckily it’s preventable and treatable.

In this article, we’ll cover the types of gum disease, explain their symptoms, discuss what causes them, and provide insight into the best ways to prevent and treat them. Let’s get started.

What Exactly is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, occurs when the tissue surrounding and supporting the teeth becomes infected. Symptoms of gum disease can include redness and inflammation of the gums, bleeding when brushing teeth, bad breath, receding gums, sensitive teeth, and loose teeth.

When left untreated, Gingivitis (the milder form of gum disease) can lead to more severe periodontal disease. This occurs when plaque (the sticky layer of germs) builds up on teeth and irritates the gums. If plaque isn’t removed, it can harden, forming calculus or tartar, which can only be removed by a dental health professional.

Signs of Halitosis, or Bad Breath - Constructed Image of woman with bad breath

What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

While poor oral hygiene can be a primary cause of gum disease, other risk factors may contribute. Those who smoke, take illicit drugs, are stressed, have diabetes or other diseases, are taking certain medications, have a genetic predisposition, and have a poor diet, may also be at greater risk of developing gum disease.

Can Gum Disease Be Cured?

Dentists can normally cure Gingivitis when combined with regular dental hygiene practices of their patients without any permanent damage. However, Periodontitis cannot be cured by dentists. Fortunately, it can be managed with good oral hygiene, provided you are dedicated to maintaining it. Regular brushing, flossing, and check-ups from your dental care provider can help prevent further bone loss.

Created Vector Image from Brighton Dental Suite showing the signs of Periodontitis an advanced stage of Gum Disease

The Symptoms of Gum Disease

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, it’s recommended that you visit your dentist as soon as you can. Your dentist will determine the severity of your condition and recommend cleaning and treatment. In some cases, root treatments may be necessary.

  • Gums that are receding
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose teeth in your mouth
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Gums that are inflamed (swelling and redness)
  • Gums that bleed when you brush them.

Can Gum Disease Be Prevented?

Brushing your teeth and gums twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing your teeth regularly, can reduce your risk of developing gum disease. Additionally, regular check-ups and cleanings from your dental health professional can help keep your gums and teeth in excellent condition.

What Are the Complications if you have Gum Disease?

Gum disease is not just bad for our teeth and gums but can also affect our overall health. Recent academic studies suggest there might be links between gum disease and coronary heart disease, premature low-birth-weight babies, and respiratory diseases.

There are four stages of gum disease that we recommend you pay close attention to assess your current situation.

When Should I See my Dentist About My Breath?

Gum disease has been around humans for our history on this planet when we emerged from Africa as Homo sapiens. Our dental knowledge and dental health have improved since our arrival as the dominant species, but gum disease still plagues our lives in the 21st century.

Many Australians probably have a degree of gum disease without realising that they have an issue or may simply dismiss or overlook it.

There are four known stages of gum disease that you need to be made aware of:

Stage 1: Gingivitis

This is the most common form of gum disease, which most people will develop at some point in their lives. If you have inflamed gums, this is known as Gingivitis and can be treated by dentists and a combination of dental hygiene.

Stage 2: Initial Periodontitis

If good dental hygiene isn’t maintained, gum disease progresses into initial Periodontitis and advances deeper into the periodontal structures – these tissues connect to the bones around your mouth. Approximately 10 per cent of the population will progress to this stage of gum disease.

Stage3: Mild Periodontitis

If gum disease progresses further, it will enter deeper into the bones surrounding the teeth and lead to significant bone loss (20-50%). This is now at a chronic stage that has become cyclical, as it goes through cycles or bursts where the body is attempting to recover.

Stage 4: Progressive Periodontitis

When there is greater than 50 per cent bone loss, and even up to 85 per cent from the root of the tooth, the patient has entered the final stages of gum disease. At this late stage, you cannot recover fully, and the patient will suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Loose teeth
  • Re, painful swollen gums
  • Abscesses in their mouths
  • You notice teeth moving in your mouth.
  • Eating and even smiling will become painful and hard.
  • A lot of your teeth will fall out.

Schedule an Appointment Today

We offer same-day visits and late opening hours that work around your schedule. If you feel that your gums are showing signs of potential early gum disease, call us to receive treatment today. We’re providers with Medibank, HCF and MDF. You can claim your health fund rebate on the spot with our HICAPS machine.

* Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.

Common Questions & Answers Related to Gum Disease

Can Gum Disease be Cured?

This depends on the stage at which your dentist catches and can start treating gum disease. If your dentist detects the symptoms early enough, it is treatable when combined with good dental hygiene practices and routines. Once you reach stages 3 and 4, you will not likely be cured, and continued ongoing treatment will be necessary.

When is gum disease too late to be cured?

Long-term problems arise once the disease has reached and infiltrated the bones; at this point, it is irreversible, and surgical treatments will be required on a long-term basis to keep the disease at bay.

How fast can gum disease spread?

The most dangerous stage of gum disease is when Gingivitis develops into Periodontitis; at this point, you enter stages 2-4, and it becomes a long-term issue. Several studies have shown that the average time for this evolution is roughly 15 months. You will have this amount of time to get to the dentists and alert them of the issue so that you can be treated promptly.

How long can it take to cure gum disease (Gingivitis)?

Gingivitis is the only stage that can be fully cured once it is caught early enough and you start maintaining far better dental hygiene practices. This will take 10-14 days after the initial treatment from the dentist.

Does Gum Disease Smell?

Unfortunately, the beginning of gum disease is usually a sign that bacteria are growing below the gum line, and bacteria will cause bad breath if not removed.

How often do dentists at Brighton Dental Suite Treat Gum Disease?

During regular dental check ups and cleanings, dentists at Brighton Dental Suite can detect and treat gum disease. For most patients, it is recommended to have these check ups every six months. However, if the gum disease is severe, additional appointments may be needed to monitor and treat the condition. If you have concerns about gum disease, it is best to contact Brighton Dental Suite directly to discuss their practices and recommendations. In some cases, a referral to a gum specialist may be necessary for more specialised care.

Has Brighton Dental Suite been able to treat patients with Gum Disease and their various stages?

Gum disease is a common oral health condition that can range from mild to severe, and if left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. At Brighton Dental Suite, our dental professionals are trained to diagnose and treat gum disease at various stages, using a range of treatments, including non-surgical and surgical interventions. These treatments can help manage the disease and prevent further damage to your teeth and gums.

It’s important to note that the success of the treatment depends on several factors, including the stage and severity of the disease, the patient’s oral hygiene habits, and their overall health. In some cases, our dentists may recommend that you see a gum specialist for more advanced or complex cases of gum disease.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of gum disease, such as red or swollen gums, bleeding when brushing or flossing, or loose teeth, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with our dentists at Brighton Dental Suite. We can assess your condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs, which may include a referral to a gum specialist if necessary.

Our Thoughts on Gum Disease

Gum disease is a severe and one of many complex teeth conditions that can significantly impact our overall health and well-being. Preventive measures, such as brushing and flossing regularly, visiting the dentist regularly, and living a healthy lifestyle, are critical to preventing and managing gum disease. If you have been experiencing gum disease symptoms, consult your doctor or visit your dentist as you possibly can.

Make an Appointment Today