Periodontal disease, often commonly referred to as gum disease, is seen in two degrees of severity. Milder gum disease is called gingivitis and involves a mild inflammation of the gum tissue. It is estimated that three quarters of all adults in the UK will experience some gingivitis at some point. It is usually easily remedied by improved oral hygiene and some treatment from a dentist. The other more serious form of gum disease is called periodontitis and requires much more substantial treatment. It usually stems from a failure to address or treat the milder form of the disease and can cause significant dental problems such as infections and tooth loss. In fact, periodontitis is responsible for more tooth loss in the UK than tooth decay.
Gum disease is caused, like tooth decay, by plaque. This is a sticky substance that forms in the mouth and coats the teeth and gums. Consisting of food debris and bacteria, plaque releases acid that gradually erodes enamel and destroys gum tissue. Proper brushing and flossing can usually remove most plaque keeping the teeth and gums safe but if this is lacking the plaque begins to harden becoming tartar which is much more difficult to remove.
It is important that you make regular visits to the dentist every six months who can examine teeth for the symptoms of gum disease. Catching periodontitis early gives the patient a much better chance of successful treatment and avoiding any of the more unpleasant treatments for serious disease such as tissue removal and even extractions.
Gum disease has also recently been linked to heart disease which means there is now more reason than ever to have your gums checked by a City of Leeds dentist.