What You Need To Know About Periodontal Disease

If your gums are red and swollen and tend to bleed when you brush them, it may be that you are suffering from gum disease, and you don’t even know it. To prevent things from getting worse, book in for an appointment with your Dentist Brentwood and restore the health and comfort your teeth and gums once had.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease (more commonly known as gum disease), is an infection most commonly seen in adults. It is found in the tissues that are responsible for holding your teeth securely in place. It is mostly caused by poor oral hygiene which in turn causes plaque to build up and harden on the surface of your teeth. In its early stages, it is referred to as gingivitis and is characterised by the earlier signs of gum disease which include swollen, red gums which occasionally bleed and become sensitive. In its later stages, gum disease is referred to as periodontitis and can result in more serious effects such as halitosis, receding gums, bone loss and in worst case scenarios, even tooth loss.


Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth which accumulates due to poor oral hygiene and build-up of food. This bacterium infects the tissue that surrounds your teeth causing inflammation of the gum surrounding them. When the bacteria remain on the teeth, they form a sticky film known as dental plaque which if not cleaned thoroughly on a daily basis, can harden and form tartar. Tartar build-up is able to spread below the gum line, making it difficult to clean your teeth, and it can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist. If you feel as though you may have a build-up of tartar, contact your dentist or dental hygienist for an urgent hygiene appointment to avoid further damage to your teeth.

In addition to this, there are multiple risk factors that increase your chances of developing periodontal disease. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Diseases or illnesses that make you immunocompromised such as cancer or AIDS
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Diabetes
  • Medications that cause dry mouth
  • Poor oral hygiene

Prevention and treatment

Almost all oral diseases are preventable. Gingivitis can be avoided or even treated through good oral hygiene and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. In order to prevent and control periodontal disease, it is highly important that you have regular visits to the dentist who can carry out thorough checks of your mouth and identify any early signs or symptoms of the disease. Additionally, brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing every day will ensure that you remove the majority of the bacteria in your mouth that is responsible for causing periodontal disease. Eating healthy food and avoiding foods and beverages containing a high sugar content and staying away from tobacco ad excessive alcohol use will subsequently keep your teeth intact and your gums and bone strong enough to support them. Even severe forms of periodontal disease can be treated using more extensive cleaning treatments which would involve a deep clean of the tooth root surfaces or by taking medication. Sometimes, you may require corrective surgery or even an extraction when the disease has progressed too far. However this can easily be avoided by always keeping an eye out for any warning signs.

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