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Gum disease is caused by plaque—a sticky, colourless film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. These bacteria produce toxins that can irritate your gums and damage your teeth.


You know that brushing your teeth every day can help you avoid cavities. But avoiding cavities alone is not enough to keep your teeth healthy. You may be surprised to learn that most tooth loss in adults is not caused by tooth decay, but by gum disease.

Gum disease presents in two different forms. Gingivitis is mild and reversible, while periodontitis is a chronic disease that requires ongoing treatment and maintenance.


If you have gum disease, your gums will start to recede or detach from your teeth. You’ll be referred to a periodontist for evaluation and further treatment. 


Our very own periodontist, Dr. Rodriguez, was one of the principal dentists at Royal Parade Dental. And he’s has practiced as a specialist periodontist for many years. He will assess your periodontal condition and explain what you need to do get your gum health back on track.

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Periodontal Disease or Periodontitis. Gum Inflammation and bone loss

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Healthy tooth vs Periodontal disease


Gingivitis is a common form of gum disease that causes gum inflammation (or gingiva) due to a build-up of plaque at the gingival margins. It’s often caused by poor dental hygiene which is great news because it means you can fix it yourself! By learning how to effectively brush and floss and having regular professional cleans, you can probably improve your symptoms.


But not all gingivitis is caused by poor hygiene. Certain medications may cause an overgrowth of gum tissue. Chronic medical conditions such as diabetes may pose a greater risk of infection or poor gum healing. And nutrient deficiencies and viral or fungal infections can also be to blame.


Your symptoms will depend on the severity of your condition. Bleeding gums is one of the most common signs, but if you smoke, you may not notice the bleeding because your blood supply will already be compromised. That means that smoking compounds the issue further.


Once your tooth-supporting ligaments and bones start to deteriorate, it cannot be reversed. This destructive gum disease, otherwise known as periodontitis may cause bad breath (halitosis), gum recession, and black areas between your teeth. It may also cause your teeth to move position in your mouth and the roots loosen in your gums.

The end stage of periodontitis is the severe loss of the supporting structures around your teeth. And finally you will begin to lose your teeth.

The good news is that periodontitis can often be stabilised. To arrest its development, you need to commit to an ongoing active relationship with your dental practitioner and practice excellent home care.

Genetics often play a role in periodontitis. And, just like gingivitis, periodontitis is linked to several other conditions, including:

  • Diabetes

  • Insulin resistance

  • Heart disease

  • Stroke

  • Systemic infections

  • Low birthweight in premature babies


  • Red, painful, bleeding, or swollen gums

  • Loss of gum tone and texture

  • Gum recession

  • A bad taste in your mouth

  • Halitosis (or bad breath)

  • Pus in the gum line or between your teeth

  • Loose or separating teeth

  • Difficulty chewing

  • Teeth or dentures that no longer fit together 

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Healthy gums vs Gingivitis


Severe Periodontitis. Loose and migrating teeth


Brushing and flossing technique


  • Brush thoroughly at least twice a day, preferably in the morning and before bed. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a good quality power toothbrush: Look for modern designs that are safe and gentle to use.

  • Take your time. You should spend at least two minutes brushing to remove the plaque that constantly forms on your teeth.

  • Use toothpaste containing fluoride. Fluoride is proven to help prevent cavities.

  • Clean between your teeth daily, using floss or other interdental cleaners to remove plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Did you know that if you don’t floss, you’re leaving up to 40% of your tooth surfaces untouched and uncleaned?

  • See your dentist regularly to remove tartar build-up and check for signs of gum disease.

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