In a country that enjoys one of the highest standards of living on earth, it’s shocking to know 30% of adults in Australia had gum disease between 2017 and 2018. Gum disease is a serious issue caused by poor dental hygiene and dietary habits and can have a series of knock-on effects, damaging the gums, teeth and overall mouth appearance.
You should contact your practitioner if you’re concerned about gum disease and experiencing symptoms. In the meantime, here are some gum disease basics. In this article, you will learn:
- What gum disease is
- Common symptoms
- The best treatment for gum disease
Before diving into the symptoms and learning how to treat gum disease, let’s define it.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, sometimes known as gingivitis or periodontal disease, refers to an infection of the gums. This disease affects the tissue that holds teeth in place. Poor dental hygiene results in plaque build-up and bacteria, damaging the gums. If you leave gum disease untreated, it can lead to long-term damage to tooth roots and, in extreme cases, jaw structure.
Gum Disease Symptoms
There are several common symptoms associated with gum disease. Beginning with gum pain, soreness, redness and eventually bleeding.
Bleeding gums: A common indicator of gum disease. This may occur when brushing your teeth, flossing or eating hard or chewy foods.
Swollen Gums: Gums may become red and swollen, the first and most recognisable symptom of gum disease.
Initial symptoms can lead to several uncomfortable effects. These include bad breath, loose teeth and shrinking gums. Contact your practitioner for expert advice if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. While gum disease is concerning, thankfully, there are many treatments available.
Treatment for Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, and if not cared for, it can result in full periodontal gum disease.
Gingivitis Gum Disease Treatment
Professional gingivitis care includes several steps, including:
Professional cleaning: This means removing plaque and bacteria, commonly referred to as scaling. This process eliminates bacteria from your teeth and gums–limiting the build-up and allowing for sufficient healing.
Restoration: Damaged teeth can contribute to gingivitis. For example, a dental restoration may be required if your teeth have been severely damaged or are misaligned. This may involve straightening crowns, bridges and fillings to ensure misalignment isn’t worsening the issue.
Maintenance: Ongoing care is still a good idea, even after cleaning and when gingivitis has disappeared. Ensure consistency with good dental hygiene to prevent the disease from recurring. No matter what your dental situation is, it’s recommended that you visit your dentist for regular check-ups to prevent the onset of gum disease.
Periodontal Gum Disease Treatment
There are two categories for treating gum disease, non-surgical and surgical. Here’s a breakdown of the common gum disease treatments.
Dental Cleaning: This removes plaque covering the tooth’s surface. The hard plaque that builds up over time can only be removed thoroughly by professionals and is one of the most effective ways to prevent the early stages of gum disease.
Scaling: In short, scaling is thorough, deep teeth clean. It removes all the plaque and tartar that can’t be removed, even with the most rigorous hygiene routines. The procedure targets above and below the gum line.
Custom: For some instances of gum disease, antibiotics can reduce painful symptoms and halt gum disease without surgery. While this is ideal, you’ll need expert dental advice. To find out more about your non-surgical gum disease treatments, contact Great Alpine Dental today.
Flap/pocket Reduction: Flap/pocket surgery means lifting the gums back and cleaning underneath the gum lines. The process includes deep cleaning and smoothing of the bone, so it attaches to the gums more strongly. This deep clean, and solid re-attachment of the gums prevents bacteria from building up as it could pre-treatment.
Bone grafts: Bone grafting involves using a tiny piece of bone from somewhere on the body to securely attach teeth to the bone and gums. This is a fantastic solution if you have damaged teeth, such as in extreme cases of gum disease.
Tissue graft: Tissue from the roof of the mouth is used to stitch into damaged areas of the gums. The surgery involves filling areas where the gums have receded and exposed the teeth.
Best Treatment for Gum Disease – Summary
If you’ve suffered from gum disease, you know first-hand how painful and uncomfortable it is, not to mention the effect on your appearance and what that does to your confidence. If you are concerned about gum disease or have any questions, please contact us today and schedule an appointment.