The health of your gums is important in maintaining overall oral health and appearance. Gum disease is most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene and bacteria from food. However, there are also other factors which increase the risk of developing gum disease such as diabetes, pregnancy, stress, genetics.
There are two stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. It most commonly starts from plaque build-up which hardens causing irritation to the gums. Swelling, bleeding and slight discomfort are the most common signs.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it will progress to the next stage known as periodontitis. Periodontitis will cause the gums to recede and create ‘periodontal pockets’. These pockets are spaces between your gums and teeth which allows bacteria to be trapped more easily.
In most cases, you may experience pus around the gums, bone loss, mobile teeth and bad breath, eventually leading to tooth loss. At this stage, a more extensive clean is recommended to remove the build up that is underneath the gums.
The best way to prevent gum disease is by good oral hygiene which involves brushing at least twice a day, flossing once a day to remove the food trap in between the teeth and regular 6 monthly dental visits.