Signs, Treatment and Prevention of Gum Disease

Swollen, sore and bleeding gums are one of the first signs of gum disease. Just like any infection, if nothing is done, the infection can spread. An infection in the tooth can destroy the supportive structures in  jawbone and eventually, teeth can become so loose that they need to be removed. It’s hard to imagine that bleeding gum can eventually result in tooth loss but it’s commonly seen  in the dentistry.


Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease.If oral hygiene slips or you skip dental visits, plaque builds up on the teeth, it spreads below the gum line. The bacteria are protected there because your toothbrush can’t reach them. If plaque is not removed, the bacteria will continue to multiply. Your gum inflammation may get worse.

The buildup of plaque below the gumline causes the gums to become swollen. As the gums swell, they detach from the tooth. This process forms a space, or “pocket,” between the tooth and gum. Bacteria can grow rapidly in the pockets. This encourages further plaque buildup.

Smoking and tobacco use can definitely be a cause of gum disease. If you currently smoke or use tobacco, the health of your teeth is another reason to quit. Poor nutrition combined with poor hygiene habits are also a main cause of gum disease.

Brush and floss as recommended by your dentist. It’s also important to keep up with your dental check-ups.

Genes, hormones and even certain diseases can increase their risk for gum disease.Even people who are highly prone to periodontal disease can prevent or control the disease with good oral care and regular dental visits.

Warning Signs

If you experience any of these early signs, you might be suffering from early stages of periodontal disease. It might be time to schedule a check-up to ensure that your teeth remain healthy.
If your teeth appear red or swollen and are tender throughout the day, gingivitis could be to blame.  It is possible to have healthy gums on one side of your mouth and early signs of gingivitis on the other.
Do you suffer from persistent bad breath? Do you consistently have a bad taste left in your mouth, even right after brushing? These are both signs of infection. Also, if you notice that your gums seem to be moving away from the tips of your teeth, a call to your dentist is definitely in order.
More serious signs include pocket formation between the teeth and gums, which can be measured by your dentist, and loose/ shifting teeth. If you feel that your bite has shifted or if the positioning of your teeth feels different, your teeth are most likely starting to loosen. Don’t put off a call to your dentist.

How is Gum Disease Treated?

Only your dentist can diagnose your gum disease.Treatment should start sooner than later. When treatment starts, the main goals will be to promote reattachment of healthy gums, reduce swelling and improve the depth of pockets. Treatment will vary, depending on the cause of the infection and the stage of the disease.
For milder cases, a professional dental cleaning will be enough to stop the progression and start healing. For more advanced stages of the disease, referral to a periodontist may be required. This could include flap surgery, bone grafts and soft tissue grafts.

Ramsgate Dental Care wants to help you prevent gum disease. If you believe that you suffer from gum disease, be sure to call us so that we can get you back on track to a healthy smile.