What you need to know


Gum Disease: Be tested to see if you have it.

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. When gum disease is detected early through a periodontal examination by your dentist, it can be treated comfortably, economically and successfully. Most important, early detection and treatment of gum diseases can help you keep your teeth a life time.

By keeping your natural teeth, you reap the benefits of better health. You can eat, smile and speak with greater comfort and confidence. For looking good and feeling good, nothing works better than your natural teeth.


Who should be tested for gum disease?

Everyone! Gum diseases affects three out of four people at some point of life. More than three quarter of all adults currently have a form of gum disease. So, if you are over 18, your chances of having gum disease are better than 50-50.

Contrary to popular opinion, gum disease is not just for adults. Children and teenagers are also susceptible to gum diseases. It is a good idea to have children and teenagers tested for gum diseases.


How can I be tested for gum disease?

By visiting your dentist. The dentist or dental hygienist will inspect the colour and firmness of the gums and test the teeth for looseness. They will also check the way your teeth fit together when you bite. X-rays may be taken to evaluate the bone supporting the teeth.

A technique called periodontal probing is the cornerstone of testing for gum disease. In the procedure, a small measuring instrument gently inserted between the tooth and gum to measure the depth of the pocket.




Periodontal probing should be a part of every complete dental examination.


Can I test myself for gum disease?

You can- and should- check yourself for the warning signs of gum disease. However, you may have gum disease that has spread into the bone and don’t have any symptoms.

Most people don’t experience any pain due to gum disease and therefore it often goes unnoticed. Many times gum disease is a silent epidemic. 

Only a dentist can diagnose gum disease, that’s why it is important to have regular dental check-ups, including a periodontal examination. 

The warning signs of gum diseases are:

• Bleeding gums during tooth brushing

• Red, swollen and receeding gums

• Gums that have pulled away from the teeth

• Persistence bad breath

• Pus between the teeth and the gums

• Loose or separating teeth (weak teeth)

• A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

• A change in the fit of partial dentures

You should contact your periodontist (gum disease specialist) if you notice any of these symptoms.


What causes gum diseases?

The main cause of gum diseases is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. Daily cleaning to remove the plaque are essential to a healthy mouth.




If the plaque is not removed, it hardens into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. Toxins (or poisons) produced by the bacteria in the plaque irritate the gums.




The toxins destroy supporting tissues around the teeth. Gums pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that fill with more plaque.




As the disease progresses, the pockets grow deeper. Plaque moves further down the root of the teeth and the bone that supports the teeth may be permanently damaged.

Unless treated, the affected teeth can become loose and eventually be lost.


 How can I prevent gum disease?

A professional cleaning by a dentist or hygienist will remove hardened calculus forms which are usually impossible to remove without professional care.

By following this simple, straight forward program of good dental health, you can help prevent gum disease and keep your teeth a lifetime. You can enjoy a healthy smile, a natural asset to your appearance.

If you have not been tested for gum disease recently, call your dentist/ periodontist.


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