Did you know most people will have gum disease at some stage in their life, and if left untreated the condition is much more serious than you think. Usually caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth and along the gum line, the infection can go straight from your mouth into your bloodstream, resulting in a direct correlation between gum disease and heart disease.
Before you start freaking out remember, this is only when the condition is left untreated, so it’s super important to stay on top of your complete oral health.
At Yokine Dental Center, we ask all our patients to see one of our 4 experienced dentists twice a year. At this appointment your regular dentist will come through and do your examination. At this appointment we will also take your x-rays if they are due, and do a cancer screening using our VELscope.
Some of the earliest signs of gum disease are redness and swelling of the gum around the tooth, symptoms we’re all too familiar with at Yokine Dental. There are two main stages to note: Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Gingivitis is early gum disease, affecting the surface layers of the gum. The most obvious signs are bleeding gums, especially when brushing, and swelling of the gum. The good news is this can easily be reversed with regular brushing and removal of plaque.
Remember only floss the teeth you want to keep. This is so important. If you are battling with flossing your teeth on a daily basis please ask your hygienist to show you how to floss. You should be flossing your teeth once a day.
More seriously is periodontitis, an advanced stage of gum disease that may occur if gingivitis is not treated. If periodontitis is left untreated, the structures that hold the tooth firmly into the gum can become so damaged that teeth become loose and may need to be removed. Signs to look out for include bleeding and swollen gums, receding gums, bad breath, bad taste in the mouth and loose teeth.
It’s at this serious stage that gum disease infection can travel into the bloodstream and really cause a person to feel unwell and lethargic. This is why when it comes to good health it’s just as important to see your Dentist as it is your Doctor. The main goal of treatment is to control the infection and can include deep cleaning, medications and in extreme cases, surgical treatment. At Yokine Dental we understand and have experience in all stages of gum disease, maintaining our philosophy of pain free dentistry to ensure the most comfortable experience and outcome for you, our patient.
Of course, there are numerous steps you can take to prevent gum disease and take control of your oral health. Regular tooth brushing is vital, along the teeth and gum line twice a day- a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles can also help, as well as a fluoride based toothpaste. Eating well can also help prevent gum disease, with a high-sugar diet known to contribute to thick layers of plaque. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks and drinking plenty of water can help keep plaque levels under control.
Regular checkups with your dentist and dental hygienist are also vital in maintaining complete oral health. If you have swollen or bleeding gums or worried about anything to do with your mouth, contact us at Yokine Dental on 9349 6686 to book an appointment. Getting treated early can help save teeth affected by gum disease and other more serious health problems down the track.