Gum Disease Treatment at Ringwood Dental
Most people will be affected by gum disease during their lifetime. These may be tell-tale signs you have some form of gum disease.
Have you noticed:
- Swollen, bleeding or sore gums
- Teeth becoming sensitive to hot and cold
- Bad breath
- Bad taste
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth or trouble chewing harder foods
- Teeth falling out
- Teeth moving/migrating or becoming malpositioned?
Gum disease is a swelling, soreness or infections of the teeth and surrounding gums and supporting bone. This is commonly divided into gingivitis or periodontitis.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. In this reversible condition, the gums become an intense red and swollen. Often this will be accompanied with bleeding, especially when brushing.
Periodontitis may result from long term gingivitis. As this worsens, the bone, which holds the teeth in place, becomes lost. Teeth can then become loose and may fall out.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by bacteria present in dental plaque which result patient losing gum or bone around teeth. It is not how much bacteria but the type of bacteria which causes gum disease. Just like the gut, the mouth has good and bad bacteria. Gum disease occurs when there is an imbalance of bacteria.
Are certain people more prone to gum disease?
As with all health issues, your genetics plays a part. If you have gum problems in your family, chances are you are more likely to have gum issues.
However, those with poor oral hygiene will be more likely to experience gum problems. Many people who do not attend for regular professional cleaning may be more prone to gum problems as significant calculus (hardened plaque) may be present.
Also, underlying poor general health, such as poorly controlled diabetes, drugs which supress the immune response, smoking will also increase the chance of gum disease. Lifestyle factors including stress and lack of sleep can also contribute to increased susceptibility to gum disease.
What can be done?
A thorough dental examination and x-rays may be required to identify gum problems. Usually the gums around the teeth will need to be measured.
Correct home care technique is vital for prevention and maintenance of gum disease. Often as gums recede, areas between teeth become exposed, and may become more difficult to clean. So, in addition to regular brushing and flossing, special care with interdental brushes may be necessary.
Professional cleaning to remove calculus (hardened plaque deposits) and plaque is also an important factor which can assist in preventing/controlling gum disease. Thus routine maintenance visits are usually required to monitor the condition of your gums once you have had gum disease resulting in bone loss.
Certain gum conditions require referral to a periodontist (gum specialist).
Gum Disease and General Health
Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory condition which has been shown in to be associated with general health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and Alzheimer’s disease. While research is ongoing to understand how these conditions may be connected, there is strong evidence that having a good oral health is vital to improving your general health.
If you have concerns about your gum health, please call us.