Gum disease treatment
Gum disease is a common dental problem. One in four Australians currently suffer from it.* Caused by bacteria in your mouth reacting with the food and drink you consume a film coats your teeth which, if not cleaned away, builds up and forms as plaque. Bacterial acids in the plaque can damage teeth and gums, leading to gum disease. The consequences can be mild, such as having bad breath and bleeding gums. Without gum disease treatment, the risks increase with the most severe cases ending in tooth loss.
Minimise your chances of getting gum disease. Follow a good oral health routine (that includes brushing twice a day and flossing) and have regular check ups, scale and clean with your dental provider.
Signs of gum disease
If you notice any of the following symptoms, then make an appointment to see your dentist for further advice.
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Red gums that are swollen and sensitive
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Receding gums
- Tooth loss.
Diagnosing gum disease
The list of symptoms may help you recognise gum disease but it’s your dentist who must diagnose the problem and severity of the infection.
Some forms of gum disease are more concerning than others. For example, bleeding gums and bad breath are early signs of gingivitis. Treated quickly, this form of gum disease is reversible with no lasting tissue damage to teeth and gums. Left to linger and the scales start to tip. Gums may recede so gaps appear between the tooth and gum. When plaque forms in these gaps, bigger problems aren’t far away as gingivitis slides towards becoming periodontal disease.
Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease. Left untreated it causes progressive destruction of the bone and connective tissue that supports the teeth. Your dentist refers to this as a ‘periodontal pocket’. As the pockets get deeper (meaning more bone and connective tissue is lost) teeth become wobbly and may, eventually, be lost.
Treating gum disease
Luke, a dentist at Keppel Dental, says:
“Mild gum disease needs different treatment compared to bad cases of periodontitis. For early-stage gingivitis, a trip to your dentist for a thorough clean, followed by self-treatment at home with regular brushing, flossing and an antibacterial mouthwash should see you right.
Advanced gum disease requires more in-chair treatment. We’ll usually carry out scaling and root planing under local anaesthetic, which is the removal of plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. In really severe cases of periodontitis, you may need surgery so your dentist can get to the area of the tooth that needs cleaning.
A trip to your dentist is your chance to better understand what’s causing gum disease. We’ll identify problem areas, clean them up and suggest preventative oral health treatment that minimises the chance of the disease coming back.”
When you’re ready to know more book in for gum disease treatment
Our helpful reception staff will schedule a time for your free 10-minute cosmetic consultation with one of our dentists.
*ADA. 2020.Australia’S Oral Health Is Tracking In The Wrong Direction. [online] Available at: <https://www.ada.org.au/News-Media/News-and-Release/Latest-News/WODH-2020-OHT-status-report> [Accessed 30 March 2020].