What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a common infection of the hard and soft (bone and gums) tissues which support the teeth. Without proper treatment, gum disease can cause tooth loss.
There is also very clear evidence between gum disease and heart problems including stroke, poor diabetic control, etc.
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss
- Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone)
- New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss
- Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth
- Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present
- Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth
- Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen
- Tenderness or discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth
Before and After Gum Disease Treatment
At Norburn Dental Centre, we offer treatments for gum disease to cleanse the disease-causing bacteria and maintain a healthy oral environment to help prevent reinfection.
Being able to identify the most common symptoms of gum disease can help catch the disease early and save the health of your smile.
Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)
The first step of any gum disease treatment is proper dental cleaning. We will use specialized tools to access the area below the gum line that you can’t reach with a toothbrush or floss.
We will scrape away bacteria and plaque buildup along the roots of the teeth to allow for the gums to reattach in a healthy manner.
It only takes twenty-four hours for the plaque that is not removed from your teeth to turn into calculus (tartar)! Daily home cleaning helps control plaque and tartar formation, but those hard-to-reach areas will always need special attention.
Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend that you have regular maintenance periodontal cleanings, usually four times a year.
At these cleaning appointments, plaque and tartar that is difficult for you to remove on a daily basis will be removed from above and below the gum line.
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumours, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
- Examination of tooth decay: Check all tooth surfaces for decay.
- Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheek tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed. (Electric toothbrushes, special periodontal brushes, fluorides, rinses, etc.)
- Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Good oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control
Frequently Asked Questions
Bleeding gums are one of the first signs of gum inflammation. Your body increases blood flow to fight off the increased bacteria found in plaque sitting around the gum margins.
Many people stop brushing and flossing when they see bleeding which ironically makes the problem worse. Bleeding gums can be easily fixed by having your teeth professionally cleaned.
The effectiveness of brushing depends on:
- How long does the brushing last?
- How much area of teeth and gums does the brush cover?
- What technique of brushing is used?
- How soft/hard are the bristles?
Electric toothbrushes are great at ensuring you brush for at least 2 mins by giving you feedback when 2 minutes are done. They also reduce the importance of proper technique as the vibration of the toothbrush compensates for the lack of proper technique. These are the advantages of using electric toothbrushes. Having said that, if done with proper technique and for at least 2 min, the same result can be achieved using a manual toothbrush.
The short answer is Yes. Gums do recede with age but with proper care and maintenance, the amount of recession can be minimized to make it insignificant where it doesn't have any effects on the health and well-being of the teeth and the gums.
- Bleeding on brushing, flossing
- Redness around the gums
- Puffy swollen gums
- Bad breath
The fastest way to treat gingivitis is to reduce the number of bacteria sitting on the gums. The easiest way to reduce the number of bacteria is by brushing and flossing regularly.
You will also need regular professional cleaning by a dental hygienist or a dentist to reduce the number of bacteria from the areas that cannot be reached by your toothbrush or floss which will treat the gingivitis.
START WITH A CONSULTATION
Preserve the health of your smile and schedule a free consultation with Dr. Davé today!