Gum Disease Treatment
Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the main cause of tooth loss amongst adults. This is due to a group of people, around 15-20%, have immune systems that overreact to the bad bacteria in their mouths. When this overreaction take place, the immune system attacks and breaks down the tissue and bone surrounding the tooth. This destruction can occur intermittently hence it is important to do a routine dental check-up. The type of gum disease treatment required depends on the severity of the case.
In case you have any concerns about gum disease treatment, please feel free to give us a call.
What causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease occurs when plaque forms on the teeth and is not removed regularly. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria.
Some bacteria in plaque harmful and can affect the health of your gums.
If you do not remove plaque from your teeth regularly through brushing and flossing, it builds up and infects your gums. This can lead to swelling, soreness and bleeding.
Calculus is formed when plaque hardens and normal brushing will not be able to remove it. You will need to go for a professional cleaning to remove calculus then.
Gum Diseases – Gingivitis
There are two primary types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is caused by a buildup of plaque on your teeth. If the plaque is not removed regularly through brushing and flossing, it can cause your gums to become inflamed. Your gums may bleed when you brush them but usually painless.
The symptoms of gingivitis are:
- Bleeding after cleaning or flossing your teeth, or eating something hard like an apple
- Occasional cases of bad breath (halitosis)
- You might also notice red or swollen gums
If you have symptoms of gingivitis, you may be able to resolve this at home with brushing and flossing techniques. Or you can see a hygienist for a professional dental clean which can remove tartar, plaque, or bacterial substance.
Gum Disease – Periodontitis
If your gingivitis isn’t treated, the inflammation may reach the ligaments and bones that hold your teeth in place. This type of gum disease is called periodontitis. Your gums may begin to pull away from your teeth, causing pockets to develop between the gum and teeth. Plaque, tartar and bacteria will fill these pockets and it will be hard to remove with a toothbrush.
Over time, the plaque hardens to become tartar and causes further irritation of the gums. This process carries on with the pockets getting deeper and harder to clean, further worsening the problem. In some cases, pus may collect under your gums, causing an abscess.
If your gingivitis has developed into periodontitis, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Gum recession and sensitive teeth
- A wobbly tooth
- A bad taste in your mouth
- Gum abscesses
Gum Disease Treatment
The treatment type will depend on how severe is your gum disease.
- You may be able to treat mild gum disease (gingivitis) with daily brushing and flossing. Your dentist or hygienist will arrange regular check-ups with you to monitor and ensure these get better over time.
If your dentist thinks you have periodontitis:
- Your dentist will use a periodontal probe to measure the depth of any gaps between your teeth and gums. They may also check how easily your gums bleed and the level of plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth. X-rays to check the condition of your teeth and jaw bone may also be required.
- Root-planing may be required to treat periodontitis or acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG). Root planing removes plaque and tartar deep below the gums.
- Treatment with antibiotics may be recommended if you have a very serious infection. Antiseptic mouthwash may be recommended by a dentist to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- If you have a very severe case of periodontitis, and all the treatments are not effective, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist for gum surgery.
Preventing Gum Disease
You may be able to prevent gum disease by regularly removing the plaque and tartar that build up on your teeth.
This includes the basic step of keeping a good oral hygiene routine of brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly and visit your dentist on a regular basis for dental check-ups.
In most cases, your dentist will be able to give your teeth a thorough clean and remove any plaque and calculus.
Smoking increases your chance of developing gum disease and can make it harder to treat.
Can Gum Diseases be Cured?
Since gum disease is usually painless hence you will not notice the damage it is doing. Bacteria activity will get more active and this may cause soreness in your gums. If left untreated, it can lead to gum abscesses, and pus may ooze from around the teeth.
Over time, the bone supporting the teeth may be lost. If the disease is left untreated for a long time, it will be more difficult to get it treated.
There is no cure for periodontal disease, but it can be controlled as long as you keep up with a daily oral hygiene routine. You might be able to slow down or prevent any further bone loss. However, it is important to continue to remove plaque from your teeth constantly and go for regular dental check-ups with your dentist.