Our gums and jaw bone form the foundation of our teeth. The presence of plaque, bacteria and calculus (hardened/calcified plaque) around our gums can initiate a biological chain reaction, which unfortunately leads to destruction of gum and bone tissues around the teeth. In the early stages, there may be inflammation of the gums without any irreversible damage. The gums may appear swollen, reddened, and quite commonly bleed during toothbrushing and flossing. This is known as gingivitis & is quite common.
At your regular dental check-up we measure your gum & bone levels and conduct a thorough scale & clean if you need it. A scale and clean to remove deposits of plaque and tartar, in combination with good daily toothbrushing and flossing, is usually very effective in reducing gum inflammation and reducing the risk of gingivitis progressing into something more irreversible.
For more active and severe gum diseases, a deep scale and clean under local anaesthesia is required to achieve healing of the gum tissues. This may sometimes warrant a referral to a gum specialist (periodontist) for treatment. Regular examination visits are then required to ensure the gum disease is not recurring.
As the gum disease progresses, symptoms that may arise include loosening and drifting of teeth, sensitivity and pain, bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, and development of abscesses. In very severe cases, teeth can spontaneously fall out due to extensive destruction of the supporting tissues.