Gum disease is caused by the formation of a sticky colourless film of bacteria called plaque. The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis causes the swelling of gums when plaque collects above and below the gum-line.
Gingivitis subsequently leads to a more severe form/stage called periodontitis if left untreated. Periodontitis damages the bone that supports the teeth. Once periodontitis develops, the damage is irreversible.
- How can I tell if I have gum disease?
You may have gum disease if you notice the following:
- Your gums are tender and swollen
- Constant bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- Notice that there is pus from your gumline or between your teeth
- Your teeth are loose and separating
- Dentures no longer fit together correctly
What should I do if I think I have gum disease?
- Visit a dentist right away for a cleaning and exam.
- Cleaning your teeth properly everyday and making regular dental visits.
- Cleaning your teeth is a two-step process that involves brushing followed by cleaning in between your teeth-areas here your toothbrush cannot reach.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is flossing the only product available for cleaning in between my teeth?
- In addition to floss, there are other products designed to perform the same function. For example, Interdental brushes, Interdental woodsticks and irrigation devices.
My gums tend to bleed when I floss; is this common?
- It is quite common for gums to bleed at first. The bleeding should stop after a few days of flossing as you gums become healthier.
I've never tried flossing-cleaning in between my teeth before; is it too late to start now?
- Absolutely no. Regardless of your age, interdental cleaning provides you with major benefits allowing you to take better care of your teeth and gums.
What else can flossing do for me?
- Flossing plays a role in preventing tooth decay from developing in between your teeth apart from keeping your gums healthy.