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Dental Gum disease

Gum disease

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What’s gum disease?

It’s inflammation of the gum that can potentially affect the supporting bone and fibres. There are three stages of gum disease:

Stage 1. Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums caused by plaque build-up on the gum line.

Stage 2. Periodontitis: The bone that supports your teeth becomes irreversibly damaged.

Stage 3. Advanced Periodontitis: The fibres and bone supporting your teeth become destroyed, which can cause your teeth to loosen and fall out.

What causes gum disease?

It’s the bacteria within plaque that causes gum infection. Plaque is a sticky white film that’s constantly forming on your teeth. Your immune system will try and remove the bacteria by releasing substances that inflame and damage the gums – that’s why daily brushing and flossing is so important. Other factors that can increase your risk of infection include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications
  • Pregnancy or use of oral contraception
  • Poor diet.

Remember to always update your dentist on any health or medication changes.

Signs and symptoms

What you need to be aware of:

  • Gums bleed easily when brushing or flossing
  • Swollen, red or sensitive gums
  • Receding gums
  • Teeth becoming loose
  • Bad breath.

Treatment

Visiting your Health Partners Dentist is the only way to properly treat and remove the infection.

Prevention

Proper and regular dental care is your best form of defence against gum disease.

  • Brush twice daily with a soft toothbrush
  • Floss daily
  • Visit the dentist regularly.

 

More for members

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On select Health Partners covers. Limits, waiting periods and conditions apply.

*Independently conducted research by New Focus Research, November 2016.