Gum disease is described as swelling, soreness or infection of the supporting teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease
This means ‘inflammation of the gums’ this is when the gums around the teeth become very swollen and often bleed when they are brushed.
Frequently Asked Questions
As gingivitis is an inflammatory response caused by plaque, its treatment involves the removal of the bacteria which are present in plaque and tartar which irritates the gums.It is vital to have your gums checked by your dentist to confirm the presence of any gingivitis and not a more serious cause of bleeding. Once a consultation is completed and a positive diagnosis made, treatment consists of professional cleaning and debridement of the plaque and tartar that has collected. This is often completed by our hygienist.
Regular visits to your dentist and dental hygienist will help you to maintain your gum health, They may also give you instructions on how best to maintain your teeth to prevent re-occurrence of the problem. If oral hygiene is of a consistent good standard further gingivitis will be prevented.
Long standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. This affects the tissues supporting the teeth, as the disease gets worse the bones anchoringthe teeth in the jaw is lost making the teeth loose, if not treated the teeth may eventually fall out.
Frequently Asked Questions
All gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth every day. To prevent and treat this you need ot make sure you remove all plaque from your teeth everyday by brushing and cleaning between teeth with interdental brushes or floss.
The early symptoms are bleeding during tooth cleaning or eating, redness and swelling of the gums, and bad breath. If these symptoms are not treated, the disease progresses to involve the deeper tissues and results in bone destruction. Recession of the gums may occur and the teeth appear longer. Also gaps can appear between the teeth and the teeth may start to drift apart and, as the disease progresses, become loose. It is rare that the disease is painful
Yes, it can be prevented by having good plaque removal techniques, including tooth-brushing and cleaning in between the teeth. Having a healthy lifestyle, including not smoking, eating a healthy balanced diet and taking regular exercise, can help to prevent periodontal disease.
People with diabetes can reduce the risk of getting periodontal disease by maintaining good blood sugar control.
Sometimes, the symptoms of periodontal disease go unnoticed, particularly in people who smoke, and this is why it is very important to visit the dentist regularly for check ups.
It can be successfully treated, especially if caught early. Management includes improving daily plaque removal techniques and by having an intensive course of treatment, in which the teeth are thoroughly cleaned by a dentist and/or dental hygienist. It is important to understand that the treatment of periodontal disease is a partnership between you and the dental team. Achieving and maintaining good plaque removal and attending regular dental appointments are a lifelong commitment.
Treatment also involves stopping smoking and having a healthy lifestyle. People who smoke respond less well to treatment than non-smokers.