Gum Disease Treatment in Croydon
Screening for gum disease forms an integral part of your routine examination. Your dental hygienist will be able to help with the prevention and treatment of gum disease, what follows are some common questions and answers.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning.
What is periodontal disease?
Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse 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.
What is the cause of gum disease?
All gum diseases are caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day. Many of the bacteria in plaque are completely harmless, but there are some that have been shown to be the main cause of gum disease. To prevent and treat gum disease, you need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day. This is done by brushing and flossing.
What happens if gum disease is not treated?
Unfortunately, gum disease progresses painlessly on the whole so that you do not notice the damage it is doing. However, the bacteria are sometimes more active and this makes your gums sore. This can lead to gum abscesses, and pus may ooze from around the teeth. Over a number of years, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost. If the disease is left untreated for a long time, treatment can become more difficult.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
The first sign is blood on the toothbrush or in the rinsing water when you clean your teeth. Your gums may also bleed when you are eating, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Your breath may also become unpleasant.
Signs of gum disease
The first signs of gum disease will probably not be spotted by you at home. Your dental hygienist, with their special training, is better able to spot these early signs of gum disease. You will only notice the signs when you see:
- Reddening of the gums.
- Puffy gums.
- Bleeding around your teeth when you clean.
If you see an of the above symptoms then your gum disease has already progressed to the second stage.
Gum disease treatment
Gum disease treatment starts at home with a good oral health care routine including cleaning and diet which your dental hygienist can advise on. However if the condition of your oral health begins to fall then you may find that gum disease begins.
Gum disease is caused when the acid excreting bacteria around your teeth irritate the gums and they become inflamed. If this inflammation is not kept under control then the gum disease can become worse and turn into the more serious periodontal disease
How to cure gum disease
The early stages of gum disease are simple to treat at the dental hygienist, we will simply deep clean your teeth, possibly provide antibiotics if this is required and then review frequently. The deep cleaning of your teeth should remove the bacterial deposits which caused the inflammation of your gums. However, if the disease is allowed to progress into periodontal disease this is not so simple to treat.
Teeth cleaning advice
The recommended advice for cleaning your teeth is:
- Clean your teeth twice per day
- Brush for 2 min each time.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste with a pea sized amount for adults. Use smaller amounts for children.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash in between brushing but never directly after. Mouthwash contains less fluoride than toothpaste, if you use mouthwash directly after brushing you will wash off the fluoride from your teeth.
- Clean in between your teeth with an interdental brush or floss daily.
The best mouthwash for gum disease
One of the best mouthwashes for gum disease is Corsodyl as this contains the active ingredient chlorhexidine digluconate. You should however be careful about using this mouthwash over an extended period as it can cause staining on your teeth.
Can gum disease be reversed?
Yes, gum disease or gingivitis can easily be reversed by deep cleaning at the dentist and adjusting your oral health care routine. If the gum diseases left it may progress to periodontitis which is a far more serious condition and not so easily reversible.
At its very extreme periodontitis can result in tooth loss meaning you may have to consider more expensive forms of treatment such as dental implants.
Does gum disease caused receding gums?
Yes. If your gums become inflamed due to a buildup of plaque around your teeth then the gums will naturally want to pull away from this irritation. As the gums pull away they will receive an your teeth can begin to look longer. Sometimes, in the earlier stages of gum disease the gums become so puffy and inflamed that the teeth can actually look shorter.
How to cure gum disease without a dentist or hygienist
Unfortunately this is not possible as only a dental hygienist and dentist will have the necessary equipment to be able to deep clean your teeth. Gum disease is caused by a buildup of bacteria into plaque around your teeth, the hygienist will need to remove this deep below the gum line which you will not be able to do at home. The best cure for gum disease at home is prevention, cleaning your teeth properly and maintaining a healthy diet!
Can you catch gum disease?
No. Gum disease is only caused by a buildup of bacteria and plaque in your mouth which irritate your gums. There are however a few conditions which if contracted may exacerbate the gum disease.