Gum (Periodontal) disease (Periodontitis) is the number one cause of tooth loss in Australia and may develop without symptoms, with your dentist often being the first person to identify this. It is caused through the destruction of bone surrounding the teeth in response to certain oral bacteria. Around 15% of the population has periodontitis at varying levels.
Some of the symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Red, swollen, tender, painful or bleeding gums
- Receeded gums and exposed root surfaces
- Constant bad breath
- Loose teeth that may drift to form gaps between the teeth
The chance of gum disease occurring can be influenced by smoking, poor oral hygiene, family history, poorly controlled diabetes and stress. The treatment from previous bone loss in some cases can be reversed but in many it cannot. Regular dental checkups increase the likelihood of identifying early onset of the disease and the implementation of appropriate treatment plans. Hygiene and behavioural modifications can have a strong influence on the long term maintenance of this gum condition.