We’ve all heard of gum disease, but many of us don’t know much about the different types, or what to do about it when it strikes. Luckily, we’re on hand to talk you through the ins and outs and offer our expert advice to anyone suffering with poorly gums.
Types of gum disease
Gingivitis: This is gum disease in its mildest form and is caused by plaque irritating the gums.
Periodontitis: This is a more severe form of gum disease and signs include the gums pulling away from the teeth.
Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG): If periodontitis isn’t treated, this is what you might end up with. This very severe form of gum disease can cause your teeth to fall out.
What are the signs of gum disease
At first, many people don’t even realise they’ve got gum disease. It can start off pain and symptom-free, which is why it’s important to see a dentist every six to nine months. They’ll be able to spot hidden signs and stop gum disease in its tracks.
Gingivitis starts off with bleeding gums when you brush your teeth, and they might feel a bit swollen or look red. If you don’t get this sorted, periodontitis will show its face. This can cause wobbly teeth, nasty abscesses and an unpleasant taste in your mouth. When ANUG makes an appearance, you might experience smelly breath, bleeding ulcers and receding gums. You might also feel generally poorly and run down.
How is gum disease treated?
This all sounds horrible, doesn’t it? Well the good news is, there are treatments available for early stage gum disease and as long as that gets treated, you don’t need to worry about the really nasty stuff. Gingivitis can be banished with a good scaling session. This involves your dentist or hygienist cleaning your teeth with a special toothpaste, an electric toothbrush and a funny instrument called a scaler. Your dentist might also suggest using antiseptic mouthwash to stop those gums from bleeding.
For severe gum disease, surgery is often the answer. But this is only really carried out in rare circumstances.
You can keep gum disease at bay by making sure your dental hygiene routine is on point. And don’t forget those regular check-ups!