Gum disease is caused by the infection and inflammation of the gum line that can affect the bone surrounding and supporting the teeth and is also known as periodontal disease. It is caused by an accrual of plaque, a thick and gummy film of bacteria building up around teeth and gums. If plaque is not eliminated, it can solidify and become tartar and continue to build on the tartar. Thus, timely gum disease treatment is vital; else, it can cause different general health problems.
The three stages of a gum disease ranging from mild to severe, are as follows:
- Gingivitis: The inflammation of the gums due to the dental plaque formation at the gum line. It is an early stage where the gum disease can be reversed, as the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth are not affected.
- Periodontitis: When the gums start forming a pocket below the gum line, it promotes penetration and growth of plaque below the gum line. At this stage, the supporting bone and fibres that grip the teeth are permanently battered.
- Advanced Periodontitis: When the fibres and bone of the teeth are ruined, it can cause your teeth to slip or loosen. It can not only affect your bite but also how you eat and communicate. It is an advanced stage where tooth extractions may become requisite to eliminate further infection.
Symptoms or Signs
Gum disease may not be painful at all, so you should be mindful of any of the following symptoms:
- Do you have red, tender or swollen gums?
- Do your gums easily bleed when brushing or flossing?
- Do you experience bad taste continuously in the mouth or constant bad breath?
- Are your gums moving away from the tooth?
- Do you experience dull or sharp pains when chewing food?
- Do you experience a change in the fitment of your partial dentures?
- Is there visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums?
- Do you feel any difference in the way your teeth come together when biting?
- Are your teeth sensitive to hot or cold temperatures?
- Have your teeth become loose?
If you experience any of these signs, don’t delay and take timely assistance from your local dentist before the condition worsens.
Risk Factors You Should Consider
Gum disease may not just impact your oral health but your general health as well. Other risk factors to consider for gum disease include:
- Poor oral hygiene habits.
- Smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Malocclusion of teeth (not easy to keep clean).
- Medications include anti-epilepsy medicines, steroids, oral contraceptives, some calcium channel blockers and cancer therapy medications.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure!
- Maintain good oral hygiene – Regular brushing and flossing at least twice a day can eliminate food particles and plaque, shielding you from gum disease even before it gets a chance to develop.
- Visit your local dentist at least once in six months for a routine checkup of your teeth overall health. While checkups, if your dentist finds gum disease, your dentist will recommend in-clinic treatment.
Gum Disease Treatment Options
When plaque takes the form of tartar, it becomes a rough and retentive surface and boosts the further build-up of plaque. The plaque bacteria can infect your gums and teeth, and gradually, the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth will get affected. Brushing and flossing are not sufficient to eliminate tartar, and you will need the help of a practising dentist to perform dental cleaning and remove it.
- Special cleaning, known as scaling and root planing, is the first nonsurgical step to eliminate plaque and tartar accrual on the tooth and root surfaces. This process helps gum disease to heal and reduces periodontal pockets.
- At your next visit, your dentist will checkup the pocket depth to decide the impact of the scaling and root planing. If your dentist finds the periodontal pockets exceeding 5mm deep, your dentist will recommend surgery to help prevent tooth loss.
Once your periodontal treatment is complete, your dentist will recommend regular checkups.
Get in Touch with Kings Family Dental Centre!
If you require teeth cleaning or gum disease treatment in Sydney, call us at Kings Family Dental Centre on 02 9674 3491 and schedule an appointment today!