Gum disease is also referred as periodontal disease is an issue that affects 60% of the UK adult population. Poor oral hygiene is the primary cause. Regular dental screening and reviews can help identify the problems at an early stage and allow a thorough treatment plan to be put in place. The signs of gum disease include the swelling of the gums, soreness or infections of the areas surrounding the teeth. Bleeding during brushing can also occur, in these instances it is prudent to see the dentist to overt long term damage, teeth loss and avoidable dental costs. There are fundamentally two main types of gum disease; Gingivitis and Periodontitis.
In principle this means the inflammation of the gums. The gums surrounding the teeth become red and swollen. The areas often bleed during brushing and whilst eating.
If Gingivitis is not treated effectively, it can progress to periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease advances, the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out. It is important to note that currently there is no cure for periodontal disease, but it can be controlled if managed with the help of the dentist, the hygienist and ultimately you. Keeping up with effective cleaning of the teeth at home between appointments is essential. With effective treatment, the rate of gum line deterioration can be halted and even allow the gum health to recover. Daily removal of plaque with regular check-ups and hygiene visits is crucial.
What are the causes of gum disease
Gum disease is caused by plaque which is a film of bacteria forming on the teeth daily. To prevent gum disease effective oral health is important. Cleaning twice a day, using interdental brushes, flossing and the use of mouthwash will help. Diet is also a contributing factor, sweet drinks, sweets, cakes and chocolate all contribute and should be eaten in moderation with the support of effective oral hygiene.
How does stress effect gum disease
There is increasing evidence and support that stress can accelerate gum disease. Grinding, gritting and clinching of teeth do not cause gum disease, but can make the gums worse if they are already suffering. Poor diets are also associated with those that suffer from stress and this is not helpful.
Does smoking affect my gums and teeth?
If you are suffering from gum disease, smoking can make this detrimental. Smokers are highly likely to produce bacterial plaque leading to gum disease. Smoking results in the gums being deprived of oxygen, this in turn is detrimental to the healing process to the damaged gums.
If gum disease is not treated, what happens?
Initially gum disease may not be painful. However, if left untreated it can cause problems and potentially the loss of teeth. Bleeding gums, soreness of the mouth and gum abscesses are prevalent in badly maintained mouths.
What are the main causes of gum disease?
Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gingivitis, which allows bacteria from built-up plaque and calculus. This in turn irritates and inflames your gums.
The other factors that contribute to gum disease include:
- Poorly formed teeth that are overlapping or crooked as this makes cleaning difficult.
- High sugar and carbohydrates in your diet
- Medical conditions such as Diabetes
- Medications such as oral contraceptives, antidepressants and heart medication
- Smoking, as this starves the gums of oxygen and inhibits the proper healing of gum tissue
- High stress levels that lower your immune response
If gum disease is left untreated, it can develop into severe periodontitis. This is the process where you gum line recedes and enables deeper infection to set into the gum pockets. This in turn will result in bone tissues and gums to be destroyed over time resulting in tooth loss.
What treatments are required?
At Victoria Road Dental Clinic we will remove all plaque and tartar from the teeth. The dentists in conjunction with the hygienists will help clean your teeth effectively during treatment. We will also put in place an effective oral cleaning routine at home to support your treatment. Good oral cleaning is essential with brushing and interdental brushes. Once your teeth are clean, your dental team may need to treat the roots of the teeth to make sure that the last pockets of bacteria are removed. This is called ‘root planing’. You’ll probably need the treatment area to be numbed before anything is done. Afterwards, you may feel some slight discomfort for up to 48 hours.
How can you help treat gum disease at home or prevent it?
If you have concerns over the conditions of your gums we recommend you making an appointment to see one of our dental team to help assess your teeth and gums. However, dental treatment ultimately starts at home with improving your oral hygiene. Working together we can ensure that you have healthy gums and great looking teeth. The following are some helpful ideas to help attack the onset of Gingivitis as home.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste and brush your teeth at least twice a day. It is important to spend at least two or three minutes brushing your teeth and your gums.
- Ensure that you floss every day, using interdental brushes to clean plaque away from inaccessible areas to your toothbrush
- Ensure you have a low sugar diet
- Smoking cigarettes should be avoided
Dental treatment is a partnership. The Victoria Road Dental Clinic team welcome the opportunity to work with you to help prevent gum and other dental diseases. For more information or to schedule an appointment contact us on 01865 636121
There are times when it isn’t your teeth that are the problem with your smile but the gums. Misshapen gums can also cause aesthetic problems.
How Gum Contouring Works
Gum contouring involves using a laser to trim away and shape the gum tissue so that it looks neater and in proportion to the teeth. Gum contouring can usually be completed in one or two visits, with results visible after the first visit.
A Painless Procedure
One of the most common questions about this type of treatment is about how painful is gum contouring?
At the Victoria Road Dental Practice, gum contouring is a pain-free procedure. By using the latest laser procedures that seal the wounds as the gum is treated, makes this procedure relatively pain-free. There is no excess bleeding and no need for stitches. It is likely that the gums feel relatively sore after treatment. The recovery times are usually fast and most patients are can manage their discomfort with over-the-counter painkillers. The use of mouthwash will also help.
Do you suffer from a chipped tooth or any other minor imperfection in your smile that is of concern. Other minor issues of concern include some worn edges, or shallow pits or grooves in the tooth enamel, all of these examples should not prevent you from having a perfect smile that gives your confidence. The Re-shaping Process that is adopted is to ensure that the tooth contouring and reshaping is to change the size and shape of the teeth so that the slight imperfections and slightly damaged teeth are back into alignment. There are cosmetic and oral health benefits of teeth reshaping. They become easier to clean by reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. Reshaping can also be used to correct minor problems with bite and function.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath is a very common problem and there are many different causes. Persistent bad breath is usually caused by the smelly gases released by the bacteria that coat your teeth, gums and tongue. Also, bits of food that get caught between the teeth and on the tongue will rot and can sometimes cause an unpleasant smell. Strong foods like garlic, onion, coffee can add to the problem. So it is very important to brush your teeth correctly and regularly. This will help keep your breath smelling fresh.
The bacteria on our teeth and gums, known as plaque, can also cause gum disease and tooth decay. One of the warning signs of gum disease is that you always have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth. Again, your dental team will be able to see and treat the problem during your regular check-ups. The earlier the problems are found, the more effective the treatment will be.
More information regarding direct access to dental hygiene
On 1st of May 2013, the General Dental Council changed their legislation on how patients can access dental hygienists and dental therapists. Previously, all dental care has been delivered to patients under the prescription of a dentist. The new ruling, called Direct Access, means a dental examination prior to seeing a dental hygienist or dental therapist is no longer required.
A Direct Access appointment allows the dental hygienist to thoroughly scale your teeth and remove any staining that cannot be removed by brushing alone, that may be caused by smoking, red wine, coffee and tea.
You will be given oral hygiene advice and be advised on the progression and prevention of gum disease.
Not only is the appointment intended to improve the appearance of your mouth, it will also improve your overall oral health.
You do not need to be a registered patient in order to receive Direct Access treatment with us. You can be registered to another dentist or not registered with a dentist at all.
We would love you see you regularly but we are happy to see you on an occasion, if you have an upcoming event such as a wedding or holiday, for example.
During your appointment, the dental hygienist may notice oral health issues requiring examination by a dentist and may recommend a separate appointment for a dental examination.
Direct Access appointments are cosmetic cleaning only and do not substitute a dental examination. We recommend that you attend regular, routine dental examinations.
The dental hygienist cannot diagnose or offer a prognosis.
If you are concerned about your oral health, please arrange an appointment with a dentist.