1. In a nutshell what is Gum Disease?
Gum Disease (Periodontitis) is the inflammation of the gums and the bleeding of teeth when brushing, which occurs when bacteria has accumulated on the teeth.
This bacteria causes Gum Disease, when it has been allowed to grow by food debris and plaque not being removed from the teeth by brushing. This accumulated plaque then turns into tartar which supports the growth of bacteria on the roots of the tooth.
As the bacteria and the disease continues to grow, the inflammation progresses deeper into the gum which causes a gap to form between the root of the tooth and the gum, where bacteria can continue to grow and if left untreated can eventually lead to the loss of teeth.
2. What are the signs and symptoms of Gum Disease?
One of the first signs of Gum Disease is the inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and bleeding whilst brushing.
You may also notice a layer of plaque on your teeth which will have discoloured.
Some more signs to look out for to prevent gingivitis turning into periodontitis are; bad breath, pain in your teeth and gums, changing position of your teeth and the continuing of bleeding gums.
3. How will my dentist diagnose Gum Disease?
At Dental & Skin a review of your medical history will be carried out to find out if there are any factors that could give rise to your symptoms.
After this our dentist will examine your mouth, teeth and gums to check for plaque and tartar as well as bleeding gums. If Gum Disease is suspected the depth of the pocket between your gums and teeth will be measured using a dental probe. Periodontitis will be suspected if the gap is more than 4mm deep.
At Dental & Skin we also take x-rays, the purpose being to check for bone loss where Periodontitis is suspected.
4. How is Gum Disease treated?
At Dental & Skin we believe that prevention is better than cure and advise our patients in oral hygiene. Our dentist will explain how to keep your teeth and gums healthy, with demonstration and instruction of the best oral hygiene aids and techniques.
We then proceed with a deep hygiene clean, removing plaque from the surface of your teeth, followed by the removal of bacteria and tartar from the roots and pockets. After your hygiene clean your teeth will be polished.
At Dental & Skin we invite all patients for review appointments. After a few weeks after your hygiene treatment, our dentist will then measure the pockets between the teeth and gums to look for improvement in their depth. Alongside assessing the surfaces of your teeth for improvement in oral care.
For patients that have not had a positive result from the hygiene treatment, it is possible that a course of antibiotics will be prescribed.
For patients where Gum Disease has progressed very deeply into the periodontal pockets, a surgical treatment may be necessary. This is where bacteria will be removed on the root surfaces by lifting away the gum under a local anaesthetic.
5. Tips to prevent Gum Disease
- The most important thing any person can do to prevent Gum Disease is to brush your teeth twice daily and to floss once a day at night.
- Mouthwash and interdental brushes are also good for reaching places that the toothbrush can not and for aiding with inflammation.
- Crowns, fillings and dentures should be taken special care of and cleaned well as plaque accumulates around them easily.
- At Dental and Skin we recommend regular dental check ups and hygiene treatments twice a year.
6. Can Gum Disease reoccur after being treated?
Gum Disease can reoccur after being treated but this depends on how well you look after your teeth with the aids and instructions given by our dentist.
It is imperative that teeth are brushed twice daily and that patients visit our London clinic twice a year for a hygiene clean and dental check up.
7. Can Gum Disease be caused by health conditions?
After continuing research it can be said that Gum Disease is linked to health conditions such as; cardiovascular disease, diabetes, strokes and dementia. It is not fully understood how these links work. However, by maintaining a good oral hygiene can lead to improvements in your general health.
8. Why Gum Disease treatment at Dental & Skin?
‘‘Our dentist has a Masters in Restorative & Aesthetics with over 10 years experience in the field.
Our mission is to provide patients with excellent care and advice, by educating and spreading awareness of oral disease.
We endeavour to build your confidence by providing you with excellent oral care and, tackling the stereotype of the scary dentist with our friendly face.
We work around your busy schedule with evening appointments.
We have excellent feedback and ratings from our current patients.’’