Gum disease, known as periodontal disease, can lead to not just an unsightly smile – it can cause teeth loss
If you have gum disease, it’s recommended that you come into Oracare for a deep clean where we professionally clean your gums and teeth to remove bacteria and stop the infection from worsening.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease in the early stages is known as gingivitis and is caused by toxic bacteria produced by plaque which attacks the soft tissues of your mouth. The main cause is failing to keep good dental hygiene by cleaning daily.
When gum disease is left untreated, it can develop into advanced periodontal disease which can cause irreversible damage, severe infections and lead to the loss of teeth.
All about Gingivitis:
Gingivitis is common and a very mild form of gum disease that can be easily treated with good dental hygiene. This condition is caused by plaque not being cleaned away and left to form tartar and allowing bacteria to thrive within your mouth. Overtime failing to keep up with good dental hygiene, your gums will become susceptible to gum disease.
The symptoms of gingivitis:
Puffy and swollen gums
Dark red gums
Gums bleed while flossing or brushing
Receding gum tissue
All about Periodontitis:
Periodontitis is a worse form of gum disease and is very serious and can be prevented. Periodontitis is the result of poorly managed gingivitis inflammation and dental hygiene.
Once the bacteria gets below the gumline due to receding gum tissue, it can form periodontal pockets where bacteria becomes trapped causing infections beneath the gumline. These pockets can cause the tooth to become infected, including the root canal. During this advanced stage, you are at risk of not only losing teeth, but also having your connective tissues and jawbone deteriorate.
Symptoms of periodontitis:
Swollen and puffy gums
Bright red or purplish gums
Gums bleed very easily
Blood on your toothbrush
Spitting blood while brushing and flossing
Bad breath and taste
Chewing causes pain
Teeth changing position
Teeth becoming loose
What can Periodontitis lead to?
Advanced periodontitis can lead to the following occurring:
Infection within the root canal
Formation of painful abscesses
The movement of your teeth to incorrect positions
Loss of teeth
Deterioration of connective tissue and bone
Gum disease has been linked to other diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by poorly managed dental hygiene. Plaque build-ups can turn into a hardened tartar and allow bacteria to spread and cause the inflammation of the soft tissues, including the gums.
How to prevent gum disease?
It’s quite easy to prevent gum disease and even treat early gum disease by following these simple steps:
Regular dental visits every six months
Brush twice and floss daily
Drink water to rinse your mouth out regularly
Avoid overly sugary products
Nutritious diet is key to staying healthy
Rinse your mouth after eating
Avoid tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption
How to treat gum disease?
There are a range of treatments, depending on the stage and severity of the gum disease. It’s important to prevent gum disease to begin with by maintaining good oral hygiene, however this is not always the case and the following options are available:
Dental scaling and root planning
The dental practitioner will perform a deep clean using a range of dental tools to perform the scaling and root planning treatment. Scaling aims at removing plaque and tartar build-ups, above and below the gumline. Any periodontal pockets which have formed will be cleaned out. The aim is to remove the bacteria causing the inflammation to the gum, connective tissues and bone.
During the root planning phase, the hygienist smooths out the surface of the tooth roots to make it harder for bacteria to reattach and easier for the gums to re-attach to the roots.
You may be required to have scaling and root planning multiple times to prevent bacteria from returning.
You may have antibiotics subscribed to help deal with gum infections that don’t respond to cleaning. Antibiotics can be in the form of tablets, capsules, mouthwash or a gel.
When periodontitis is persistent and won’t go away, you may be recommended flap surgery. This is a surgical procedure under anaesthesia where your gums are lifted away from the tooth roots and cleaned. The gum tissue is sutured back into place once cleaned.
If the infection has caused bone loss, you may require bone grafting. This procedure is the placement of prepared bone grafts into the areas where bone loss has occurred to help encourage the body to rebuild the bone.
When to see an expert at Oracare in Cleveland QLD
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms above and have swollen and inflamed gums, it’s important to contact Oracare for a check-up and professional clean.