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What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a serious health issue that can have detrimental effects on your oral and overall health. Gum disease may occur through stages such as gingivitis as the early stage is an infection of the gums that is typically caused by bacteria. If left untreated, the condition might progress to a more severe infection called periodontitis.

Gingivitis (gum inflammation) typically occurs before periodontitis (gum disease). However, not all gingivitis develops into periodontitis. Gingivitis affects the majority of people at some point in their lives. Usually, it has mild symptoms that are painless and can be ignored sometimes. However, if left untreated, it can lead to a more severe problem with your mouth, such as periodontitis or gum disease.

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Common Causes of Bad Breath

Your gums attach to your teeth at a lower location than the visible gum edges, and bacteria exist in our mouths. Over time, these bacteria may be combined with mucus and other particles that form a sticky, colourless “plaque” on teeth.

Food debris can become stuck in the sulcus (space between the gum tissue and tooth) that can accumulate plaque, leading to a gum infection. Plaque is a thin layer of bacteria. It forms on the surface of the teeth over overtime. Plaque hardens and develops tartar as it grows. When plaque extends below the gum line, an infection might occur.

As plaque spreads and grows below the gum line, the body’s immune system attacks the bacteria resulting in gum inflammation.

Gum disease is primarily caused by plaque. Other factors, however, may lead to periodontal disease. These include:

Other risk factors of developing gum disease include the following:

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Common Signs of Gum Disease

Most people are completely unaware that they have gum disease. It is possible to develop gum disease without experiencing any symptoms. There are stages of gum disease:


It is a gum inflammation that is often referred to as gingivitis. It is the first problem that occurs, which have the potential risk of leading to gum disease.

Early signs of gum inflammation can be the following:

  • You may notice that your gums are bleeding, especially when brushing or eating.
  • Swelling or redness of the gum.


The gum has a vital function. It is to protect the bone that holds your teeth in place by acting like a protective layer. The periodontium is the term used to describe the group of structures that supports and protects the teeth, keeping them in place. The gum protects the periodontium by forming a seal around the tooth’s neck.

Periodontitis is an inflammation of the periodontium caused by bacteria present in plaque. The immune system fights these harmful bacteria causing the layer of the periodontium to swell.

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Treatments for Gum Disease

There are several treatment options for gum disease, and the primary goal is to manage the infection. It may vary depending on the extent of the condition. It is essential to note that proper care of the teeth and gums is necessary despite any type of treatment. The dentist may also recommend changing certain habits that may worsen the problem, such as quitting smoking to help to improve the treatment results.

Consider maintaining good dental hygiene to prevent gingivitis. Other treatments for periodontitis may include:

Practise Oral Hygiene Habits

Brushing your teeth twice regularly, especially after eating, removes food particles left in your mouth and small spaces between the gum tissue and tooth. Flossing your teeth at least once a day properly can help to prevent dental issues. Maintaining good dental care habits to prevent harmful bacteria from growing and for healthier oral health.

Deep Cleaning

Many procedures can be used to deep clean your teeth without dental surgery. These techniques purpose is to eliminate plaque buildup or tartar in preventing gum irritation.

You can prevent risk from gum disease and other dental problems by:

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FAQs About Bad Breath

When should I visit a dentist?

It is recommended to visit your dentist when you notice any symptoms such as swollen, tender or bleeding gums and persistent bad breath. The sooner you visit a dentist, the better your chances of recovering or preventing periodontitis (gum disease).

Is gum disease linked to other health problems?

The condition of your teeth affects your overall health. Gum disease may be associated with various health conditions and may harm the other parts of your body.

Periodontitis has been linked to several illnesses, including respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cognitive impairment.

How is gum disease treated?

Gum disease treatment aims to promote gum reattachment, reduce swelling and the depth of pockets, and prevent infection. Treatment choices are determined by the stage of gum disease, your previous responses to therapy, and your overall health.

Through proper dental check-ups, your dentist can determine the right treatment for you. It is essential to consult a doctor before considering home remedies for your safety.

What are the stages of gum disease?

You may experience gum inflammation which is also known as gingivitis. Common causes are poor oral hygiene, infection as a result of plaque or tartar buildup. If gum inflammation is left untreated, it can lead to a more severe gum irritation referred to as periodontitis. It is inflammation of the periodontium; these consist of soft tissues surrounding and protect the teeth.

  • Gingivitis
  • Slight Periodontal Disease
  • Moderate Periodontal Disease
  • Advanced Periodontal Disease

How can gum disease be prevented?

Gingivitis can be treated, and the gum disease can be prevented from worsening when proper oral care is practised. This involves avoiding plaque from growing. Controlling plaque and tartar buildup includes professional cleanings every six months, daily brushing, flossing and mouth rinsing using an antiseptic mouthwash.

Here are the tips to prevent gum disease:

  • Brush your teeth (better with fluoride toothpaste) for two minutes at least twice a day regularly. 
  • Floss at least once daily.
  • Opt for a soft toothbrush and replace it for at least three to four months.
  • Use an antibacterial mouth rinse to remove food debris that can't be removed when brushing alone.
  • Have your teeth deep clean by a dentist.
  • It may be challenging, but try to change some of your lifestyle, such as smoking and lessen your sweets consumption.

How does smoking affect gum disease?

Smokers are more likely to develop bacterial plaque, which leads to gum disease. Infected gums don't heal because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream.

Your body's ability to fight infections (your immune system) is weakened when you smoke. Infections in the gums become more challenging to treat due to this.

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Byford Smiles takes great pride in offering exceptional services and care to all our patients. Our friendly and competent staff are dedicated to your dental needs and will ensure comfort and quality care. 

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We discuss the cost of your treatment and each of your available payment options before you begin to make it as easy as possible for you to receive the best dental care when you need it.

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We maintain the most advanced procedures and equipment available combined with the right mix of personal care, high technology and continuing education.

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Why Choose Byford Smiles To Treat Gum Disease

If you suspect that gum disease is the cause of your toothache or swollen gums, consult a dental professional or dentist immediately. The early stage of periodontitis is known as gingivitis. At this time, the symptoms can still be managed and reversible.

At Byford Smiles, our dentists will examine the condition of your teeth and gum tissue by performing a dental examination and or dental x-rays. The purpose is to identify the root causes of your symptoms.

We offer treatment plants that can be suitable for you. These may include dental cleaning or particular medication. It is vital to understand that options may vary from person to person or depending on the severity of the symptoms.

Dental procedures help our patients to reduce the symptoms and aim to prevent infection from worsening.