Having gum disease can spoil your smile. It’s a very common problem – most of us have some degree of gum disease at times. The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to keep it in check. Looking after your teeth with a simple daily routine will help keep your gums healthy and your smile sparkling.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease can range from mild inflammation of your gums to a severe condition where the tissues and bone around your teeth break down.
The mildest form of gum disease is called gingivitis. This is where your gums become sore and swollen, usually as a result of the build up of plaque around your teeth. Plaque is the soft, sticky substance, containing bacteria, which forms a film on your teeth every day. If you don’t remove plaque, it irritates your gums.
If left alone, gingivitis can develop into a more serious condition called periodontitis. This is where deep pockets of infection form around your teeth. Periodontitis causes long-term inflammation of your gums, which eventually damages the surrounding tissues, including the bone of your jaw. Without their usual support, your teeth may slowly move out of place, become loose or even fall out.
What are the signs of gum disease?
It’s possible to have gum disease and not notice any symptoms at all. Gum disease doesn’t usually cause pain, even when it’s severe.
Symptoms of gum disease may include:
red or swollen gums
bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth
gums that pull away from your teeth (receding gums) – your teeth may look longer
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