Gum disease is a very common condition that affects most people at some point in their life.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum Disease or Periodontal Disease is an infection of the tissues that support and hold the teeth in your mouth.

What causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease is primarily caused by certain bugs/bacteria, which live in the mouth. These bacteria are found in plaque and can cause damage to the gums and underlying bone, which holds the teeth in your mouth. Plaque is a sticky matrix containing many different types of bugs/bacteria. Consistently poor oral hygiene, such as insufficient brushing and flossing habits can lead to gum disease.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the earlier stage of gum disease. If plaque is allowed to build up, it will cause the gums to become inflamed and bleed easily. Gum disease at this stage can be treated and reversed.

What is Periodontitis?

If gingivitis is left untreated, then there may be further irreversible damage of the soft tissue and underlying bone – this is called periodontitis. If periodontitis is not treated your teeth can become loose,  and if the issue is severe enough they can fall out.

What are the Risk Factors of Gum Disease?

Lifestyle choices, stress, and genetics can all play a role in increasing your chances of developing gum disease. Medical conditions, such as diabetes, can also result in you having a greater chance of getting gum disease. Smoking has an adverse effect on healing as well as playing a significant role in influencing the susceptibility too gum disease. Pregnancy is associated with certain hormonal changes that can impact the way gums react to the plaque.

How to spot Gum Disease?

Frequently, it is the dentist or hygienist who has spotted that there is a gum related problem.

However, you may have noticed that your gums bleed when you brush them or that your breath is unpleasant. Your teeth may feel slightly mobile or have even drifted forwards. The gums may have become swollen and painful – occasionally requiring antibiotics.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease:

  • Red swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums after brushing
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Gum abscesses
  • Receding gums
  • The appearance of black triangles between the teeth
  • Spaces appearing between teeth

How to Prevent Gum Disease.

The best treatment for gum disease is prevention, and if caught early simple hygiene measures may be all that is needed to regain control.

Brush Twice a Day

Brushing your teeth twice a day is important to remove plaque build-up and make sure your teeth and gums are healthy. You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes and try to brush at an angle to hit both your teeth and your gums. Electric toothbrushes can make the process easier by timing your brushing and rotating the bristles for you.

Use Fluoride Toothpaste

The toothpaste you choose can help ensure that you will maintain healthy gums. When looking for a toothpaste to purchase, you should look for a brand that sells toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is beneficial because it can kill the bacteria that is in your mouth, which causes gum disease.

Interproximal Cleaning

Dental floss, interproximal aids such as TePes, or interproximal brushes are essential for getting rid of the plaque that your toothbrush will miss which lies between your teeth. It is advised to choose whichever method is most effective for your teeth.

Regular Dental Cleanings

It is essential to see your dentist and dental hygienist regularly so they can take care of any tartar that may be on your teeth and remove any plaque you may have missed. Check-ins with your dentist can also let you discuss any problems you may be having with your teeth and catch early signs of gum disease. If you do notice any signs or symptoms of gum disease, check in with your dentist so they can help you restore your healthy gums.

Treatment for Gum Disease at Dawood and Tanner.

If your gums bleed when brushing, or if they are swollen or painful you should book an appointment with a dentist.

Dr Fiona Mackillop is a Specialist in Periodontics and the periodontal lead at our practice offering our patients the very best gum treatments available.

In your first appointment, Dr Mackillop will carry out a thorough dental history, clinical and radiographic examination. The pocket depths around each tooth are measured and recorded in a periodontal chart. This will allow a full assessment as to the extent of the gum problem and provide a diagnosis. You will then be provided with a comprehensive letter detailing the issues and steps needed to address the problems.

This may well involve a course of non-surgical periodontal therapy, which is normally carried out by a dental hygienist. You will be advised on the best way to make your mouth healthy. If any teeth have reached a stage where extraction was advised, then advice with regards to replacement would also be provided.

Gingivitis, gum recession, gum grafting, and regenerative therapy treatments are all regularly treated at our practice.

To schedule an appointment today, please contact us by calling 02079350080 or by emailing: [email protected]