Treatment and Prevention of Gum Disease
Periodontics is the branch of dentistry concerning the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the gum and bone tissue around your teeth, which helps prevent gum disease and stops you losing your teeth.
At Springfield Dental our dentists and hygienists work to treat the damaged gums, allowing the affected tissue to heal and helping to prevent tooth loss that would be inevitable without treatment.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the UK and is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and irritate and degrade the bone gradually over time. This can often occur whilst the patient is completely unaware of it, hence why it earns its nickname ‘the silent disease’.
Causes and Risk Factors
Gum disease or periodontal disease can affect anybody but there are individuals who can be more susceptible to developing it than others.
Gum disease can be more likely for those who;
- Frequently smoke or drink alcohol
- Have heart disease
- Do not maintain good oral hygiene
- Have systematic diseases
- Are pregnant
- Have a genetic predisposition
- Are diabetic
- Have high stress levels
In addition to this, there are also certain types of prescription drugs which can increase a person’s likeliness of developing gum disease;
– Oral contraceptives (the pill)
– Cancer therapy medication
– Steroids such as corticosteroids and prednisone
– Epilepsy treatment
– Heart disease treatment such as calcium channel blockers
Gum disease all begins with a build-up of tartar and calculus so if people take the necessary steps to prevent this from happening then they have a good shot at stopping gum disease before it starts.
What Are the Main Symptoms of Gum Disease?
This silent disease can be extremely difficult for patients to recognise which can lead to it going unnoticed for years if patients fail to attend annual dental check-ups. However, there are some symptoms to keep a close eye out for;
- Swollen, red, inflamed gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- A bad taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth
- Pus in-between teeth
- Receding gums
- Noticeable changes in bite or how the teeth come together
If patients notice one or more of these symptoms combined, then it is advisable to visit the dentist to rule out anything potentially harmful and help find a way to treat the issues.
The Stages of Gum Disease
This is the earliest stage of gum disease. When plaque builds up around the tooth, the surrounding gums become swollen and inflamed. When the plaque is removed through effective brushing, the swelling will subside.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. This is much more aggressive and causes the breakdown and loss of surrounding bone and gum. The tooth can become loose due to periodontitis and may eventually be lost.
What Does a Hygienist Do?
Our periodontics team specialise in caring for the gums. If you are showing symptoms of advanced gum disease, you will be subject to a thorough periodontal assessment with one of our dentists and referral to a hygienist for treatment, which will include the following:
– A thorough examination of your mouth with X-rays and measurements
– A personalised treatment plan to help treat the existing problems and help the gums to become healthier, including advanced self-care and home cleaning advice and guidance
– A thorough tooth clean to prevent further infection
– Regular check-ups will need to be arranged to check your progress and to implement plans to prevent further gum problems from occurring.
Our periodontal team are trained to spot gum disease at its very early stages. If you are showing signs of gum disease, our trained team of hygienists will be able to create a comprehensive treatment plan to control and manage the disease and help prevent it from progressing.
Gum disease is treatable but not reversible, so if you have any of the symptoms of early gum disease, be sure to contact us to book a consultation with one of our experts as soon as possible.
FOR MORE ADVICE AND SOLUTIONS ON A RECENT POST EXTRACTION OR TOOTH LOSS, PLEASE CHECK OUT OUR CARE LEAFLET BELOW.