The gingiva or gums are part of a complex knows as the periodontium. The role of the periodontium is to attach your teeth to the bone of the jaws and provide support during chewing and function.
CHOOSE Oral Health for Better Health! Studies show that poor oral health and the gum disease may contribute to more serious medical problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and strokes.*
*American Academy of Periodontology, The Mouth-Body Connection.
Gingivitis literally means inflammation of the gums. It is the initial form of gum disease commonly caused by the presence of plaque, the soft sticky film of bacteria, that accumulates on the teeth and gums. Gingivitis can also be precipitated by certain medications, pregnancy, stress and other medical conditions.
Signs of gingivitis include redness, swelling and mild bleeding of the gums.
Most often, good oral hygiene and routine dental checks can reduce the extent of gingivitis. Left untreated, however, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease.
Periodontitis is the more severe form of gingivitis as it affects not only the gums, but the bone and the ligaments that support the tooth.
The bacterial plaque accumulation around the gums over time can cause an infection. Your body naturally tries to fight the infection. Both the bacteria and the cells fighting the infection can produce chemicals that can affect the jaw bone and the ligament suspension around the teeth. Over time, deep crevices develop between the tooth and gums and may result in gum recession, bone loss and loose teeth. In most cases this happens without any symptoms of pain.
Signs of periodontitis include redness, swelling and bleeding of the gums, receding gums, loose teeth, bad breath and unpleasant taste in the mouth.
The best form of treatment is prevention! Early detection is essential for minimising the adverse outcomes of tooth mobility and tooth loss. Management usually involves professional scaling and cleaning and is based on the type and extent of the disease. An excellent oral hygiene routine is typically required to reduce progression and improve prognosis.
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