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Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, is a common oral health issue that damages the gums and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. It begins with bacterial growth in the mouth which build up over time to form a sticky, colourless film of bacteria called plaque. Once the plaque starts to build up, it produces toxins or poisons that slowly destroy the bone and connective tissue holding your teeth in place, leading to the loosening of teeth.

Often caused by poor oral hygiene habits, gum disease is a deceptively sneaky infection that usually attacks your mouth without causing any pain. Due to it being painless, gum disease often goes unnoticed in the early stages of the disease, and the symptoms may not appear until it’s already at an advanced stage.

Around 20% of Australian adults are thought to be affected by this serious gum infection, which can ultimately lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Whether or not you’re an adult, it helps to be aware of the disease’s many different symptoms, because spotting this condition early gives you a better chance of applying preventative dentistry measures to eliminate the problem before it evolves into something more serious.

So, what are its symptoms?

Although gum disease tends to attack in a quiet way, these warning signs can help you determine whether your gums are infected or not:

  • Red, swollen gums

  • Mouth sores

  • Constant bad breath

  • Loose or separating permanent teeth

  • Pus between the teeth and gums

  • Gums bleed easily when you brush, floss or eat hard food

  • Gums that have pulled away or receded from the teeth

  • Changes with your teeth when you bite.

If you want to beat this serious infection right from the start and keep it from causing devastating consequences to your oral health, it’s essential to carefully look out for the symptoms listed above. And if you experience any of these, then you should visit the dentist as soon as possible.

Thankfully, however, you can prevent the onset of gum disease by doing the following:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day to eliminate plaque from the teeth

  • Floss regularly to remove food particles and prevent the formation of plaque

  • Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease

  • Quit smoking. Smokers are more likely to get gum disease than non-smokers

  • Visit the dentist regularly for a routine check-up or professional cleaning

  • Follow a well-balanced diet to help strengthen your body’s immune system

Gum disease is one of the most common dental problems that adults experience, but it is mostly preventable and treatable. So for the sake of your oral health, keep a sharp eye out for its symptoms and search dentist near me to visit a local dentist immediately if you are experiencing any.