GUM disease is prevalent in PNG due to poor oral hygiene, chairman of the division of dentistry at the University of Papua New Guinea’s school of medicine Dr Kesia Beaga said.
“Many people are going to hospital with a more severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis.
“This form of disease could cause irreversible damage to gums,” Dr Beaga said.
She said betelnut chewing was one of the causes of periodontitis.
“The disease is very serious. Some people who go the hospital with swollen gums end up having a tooth removed.
“It can be prevented through good oral hygiene.
“You must brush your teeth twice a day, visit a dentist once a year and have a proper diet,” she said.
Gum disease involves the gums, bones and other areas of support for the teeth. It can affect any age group but is more likely to occur in adults.