Gum disease – why prevention is the only cure?
Routine cleaning using brushing and flossing keeps the surfaces of your teeth clear of plaque. Plaque is the sticky layer that builds up on our teeth daily and which can harbour harmful bacteria. If allowed to accumulate, it can harden and form tartar (calculus), which can add to the vulnerability of the teeth as its rough surface will attract even more plaque.
If tartar forms at the gum line, it causes your gums to become inflamed. Swollen and puffy gums can then lead to the most noticeable symptom of gum disease – bleeding gums.
This first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. We can treat this stage of the disease with a deep clean. A dentist can scale away plaque and tartar (calculus), removing the cause of the irritation. The cleaner your teeth, the less likely you are to develop gum disease.
If gum disease is not managed, it can progress to periodontitis which causes gum loss and recession.
What happens during cleaning?
During an appointment, the dentist will assess the health of your gums and teeth and look for any signs of swelling, inflammation or bleeding. They may also take measurements where the gum attaches to the tooth and check for signs of oral cancer.
Regular cleaning appointments will not only help you maintain healthy teeth and gums, but also protect your overall well-being because poor gum health has been linked to more serious conditions such as heart disease, respiratory infections, diabetes and dementia.