Gum disease explained

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is the most common preventable disease in adults. It is usually caused by plaque bacteria that causes irritation and inflammation of the gums, periodontal ligaments, and supporting bone.

Treatment involves removing this plaque biofilm. Early stages of gum disease (gingivitis) is reversible. However if left untreated, the periodontal ligaments (PDL) will become affected and there will be attachment loss. This results in periodontal pockets. It is even harder to clean and remove the bacteria from these pockets as access is more difficult and you will need professional cleaning and advice.

If left untreated, it will start affecting the bone supporting the teeth. resulting in bone loss. This irreversible attachment loss is called periodontitis.

Treatment is now usually aimed at slowing down the progress of disease, and stabilising the attachment loss.

#1 cause of tooth loss

Severe untreated gum disease can result in tooth mobility and eventual tooth loss, and gum disease is the number 1 cause of tooth loss in adults.

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