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Gum Disease

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Gum Disease

There are a number of types of gum disease known as gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis.

These have been listed from least severe to most. Inflammation of the gum can progress to the surrounding bone that supports your teeth. It is therefore important to treat gingivitis before it advances into periodontitis. If the disease progresses to periodontitis it may be necessary to be referred onto a specialist periodontist for care.

Gum disease is often painless so it is essential that you are aware of and tell your dentist any of the following symptoms:

  • Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
  • Loose teeth
  • Any signs of pus around the gums
  • Swollen or tender to touch gums
  • Persistent bad breath, even after brushing
  • Change in fit of mouth guards, or dentures

The primary cause of gum disease is the impact of bacteria that live in the plaque that can build up on your teeth. If the plaque is not regularly removed via brushing it can form calculus which will need to be removed by a dentist.

Regular professional cleaning from your dentist or hygienist, in addition to daily cleaning at home, is the best method of prevention for gum disease.

The dentist will remove all the plaque that houses the bacteria causing gum disease. Early stages of gum disease can effectively be treated before they become a bigger problem if you are seeing your dentist regularly.

As gum disease advances, more advanced treatment options are required. Your dentist may use an ultrasonic scaling device to ensure that plaque, food debris and tartar buildup is effectively removed both below and above the gum line. They will also use hand scalers on the surface of the tooth to smooth them out making cleaning at home easier.

If you have severe periodontitis, gingival flap surgery may be required. This treatment will need to be performed by a periodontist specialist.

Advanced Treatment Options

As gum disease advances, more advanced treatment options are required. Your dentist may use an ultrasonic scaling device to ensure that plaque, food debris and tartar buildup is effectively removed both below and above the gum line.