Prevention and Treatment of Gum Disease
At Balls Road Dental Practice, we want to help our patients keep their gums healthy to prevent the onset of gum disease. If gum disease (periodontal disease) does develop it can lead to tooth loss and is also linked with a number of serious conditions including heart disease so it is important that the problem is treated.
Gum disease (periodontal disease) can be divided into two categories:
Gingivitis – this is inflammation (swelling) of the gums. The gums can look red, puffy and can feel sore and bleed easily. Gingivitis is primarily caused by poor or inadequate cleaning which results in a build-up of plaque. With an improvement in brushing and flossing, gingivitis can be reversed and your gums can become healthy and firm and pink again.
Periodontitis- this is a progression from gingivitis and is characterised by a loss of bony support of the teeth. If left untreated, the bone loss becomes severe and the teeth involved become loose. The teeth will eventually fall out or become infected and have to be removed. Although periodontitis can’t be reversed it can be stabilised by very good oral hygiene and by regular hygienist appointments.
If you think you have gum disease, it is essential that you seek treatment as soon as possible.
In addition to not brushing correctly, there are other factors which can contribute to gum disease such as:
More teeth are lost through gum disease than tooth decay. Many adults are not aware that they have gum disease so at Balls Road Dental Practice we spend a lot of time talking this through with patients. It is far better to educate and give information early on than to wait until the problem becomes severe.
Don’t be alarmed because if caught early enough, gum disease can be halted in its tracks.
Gingivitis is treated by your dentist or hygienist scaling your teeth to remove calculus, giving you tooth brushing and flossing instruction and general oral health advice.
Periodontitis treatment will involve more visits and regular long term follow up appointments will be needed. The pockets that form between the teeth and gum in periodontitis need to be regularly cleaned and the bone levels closely monitored. In this way, patients will learn which areas of their mouth need the most attention. Your dentist and hygienist can help you to stabilise the periodontitis so that it doesn’t rapidly progress and you can keep hold of your teeth longer.