10. Your gums are made up of the soft tissue that covers the bone in your mouth, holding the teeth in place. The gums or gingiva surrounds the teeth and covers the jaw bone, creating a protective barrier.
9. Healthy gums are pink, and tough and are not painful to temperature, and pressure, and do not bleed. Bleeding and red gums is a sign of trouble. Bleeding when brushing or flossing usually indicates gum disease.
8. There are two main types of gum disease - gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis or gum disease occurs when bacteria collects along the edges of the gum and causes an inflammation and infection of the gums and bleeding occurs. This process is reversible once the bacteria have been removed.
Periodontitis (or periodontal disease | jaw bone disease) occurs when the bacteria gets trapped further down under the gums and causes damage and loss of the bone around the teeth. Bleeding, food trapping, gum recession or shrinking, a bad taste in the mouth and bad breath are all signs that gum disease is most likely occurring.
7. Periodontitis effects 1 in 4 Australian adults. Tooth loss is quite often the end result.
6. If you were able to lay your gums out flat, they would cover the same surface area as your forearm! If your gums are inflamed and infected, this is actually a large area of your body when you think about it like this.
5. The gums can recede or shrink away if you are too aggressive with your brushing. Protect your gums by using an electric toothbrush, with a pressure sensor feature. If you do use a manual toothbrush, hold the toothbrush so the bristles point at your gumline at a 45 degree angle and brush with a circular motion.
4. Dental plaque is a complex community of bacteria that begins forming again almost immediately after you have cleaned your teeth. The older and more mature plaque gets, the more damaging it becomes- releasing toxins that destroy the bone around the teeth.
3. Careful daily removal of plaque is the best way to prevent gum disease. Brush twice a day preferably Floss the teeth you wish to keep!
2. Gums can flare up during certain times of life- Hormonal fluctuations present particularly during puberty, pregnancy and menopause can lead to an increase in gingivitis. It is very important to see the dentist regularly during these times.
1. Seeing your dentist and hygienist for preventive care will help prevent gum problems and allow us to identify any changes up before they result in possible irreversible damage.