Why should I get Gum Treatment?
It is just as important to maintain healthy gums as it is to maintain healthy teeth! Gums provide the foundation for teeth and when they are neglected, it can lead to a variety of problems.
It is essential to have you gums regularly checked and treated as you can avoid letting nasty gum issues such as gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis from taking root.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums and bone surrounding teeth. It is usually painless but bleeding gums, bad breath or red, puffy gums are common signs that you may have gum disease.
Gum disease can eventually lead to loss of your teeth!
The best practice is to avoid gum disease altogether in the first place. Thorough brushing and flossing twice a day at home as well as regular check ups at the dentist is the best way to avoid gum disease.
You DO NOT “get long in the tooth” as you get older. This is definitely an old wives tale! Our elderly patients that look after their teeth have healthy gums and fantastic smiles.
Everybody has bacteria in their mouth which form plaque. Plaque is a film that sticks to the surface of your teeth and releases toxins which cause irritation and inflammation of the gums. If plaque is not adequately removed from your teeth by brushing and flossing, it can lead to redness, swelling and bleeding. Plaque can also harden and turn into calculus (tartar) that can form above or below the gum line. This is called gingivitis. Bad breath is often caused by gingivitis.
Fortunately, gingivitis is reversible with thorough cleaning at home and treatment from a dental professional. Regular scale and cleans at the dentist will prevent gingivitis. Your dentist can discuss your brushing and oral hygiene to prevent the onset of gingivitis. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis.
Periodontitis not only involves the health of the gums but is characterised by the destruction of the underlying bone that supports teeth.
The main causes of periodontal disease include:
- ineffective cleaning at home
- lack of professional dental care
- unsatisfactory dentures, bridges or fillings in the mouth
Periodontal disease is often painless and can go undetected for many years (until it is often too late to save the teeth) but signs and symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- red, bleeding, swollen gums
- receding gums
- gaps and spaces between teeth not previously present
- loose or wobbly teeth
- movement of teeth
- changes to your bite
- bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- pus or abscess in gums
The gums separate from the teeth creating periodontal pockets which harbour more food, plaque and calculus leading to further progression of the disease.
Treatment for periodontal disease includes evaluation of the cause, followed by one or more sessions of deep cleaning and instructions on how to prevent recurrence, including covering home care routine. Established gum disease needs to be monitored and regular maintenance is essential to prevent progression. Maintenance of gum health is essential and regular, scheduled scale and cleans will prevent further damage and allow your dentist to monitor your gum health.