GUM DISEASE TREATMENT

gum disease treatment

GUM DISEASE, GINGIVITIS & PERIODONTITIS TREATMENT

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a rather common dental problem. Gum disease can range from mild inflammation of the gums to more serious forms of the disease that, in the worst cases, could result in the loss of the teeth.

WHAT CAUSES GUM DISEASE?

Your mouth is full of bacteria and when bacteria are combined with mucus and food particles, it forms the sticky substance that we call plaque. Normal flossing and brushing will remove some of that plaque from your teeth, but what is left will harden and form tartar, which can only be removed by a professional cleaning by your dentist.

GINGIVITIS

If plaque and tartar are allowed to build up on the teeth, it can cause a mild form of gum disease known as gingivitis, which can cause swelling of the gums and bleeding. Gingivitis can usually be treated by good oral hygiene and regular cleaning by your dental hygienist or your dentist.

PERIODONTITIS

If gingivitis is not diagnosed and treated properly, it can progress to inflammation in the gums surrounding the tooth, which is called periodontitis. If this happens, the gums can be pulled back from the teeth, leaving spaces in which infection can take hold. As the plaque spreads below the gum line, the body’s immune response and toxins begin to break down connective tissue and bone, which can lead to the eventual loss of teeth.

RISK FACTORS

Smoking

Smoking is one of the most common causes of gum disease and it can interfere with the ongoing treatment of gum disease.

Hormonal changes

Gingivitis can be triggered by the hormonal changes that girls and women experience in the course of their lives.

Diabetes

Diabetes increases the risk of developing gum disease.

Other Illnesses & Medications

Other illnesses and the treatments associated with those illnesses can also increase the risk of gum disease. Any medication that reduces the flow of saliva in the mouth can make you more susceptible to mouth infections like gum disease.

Your Genes

Some people are simply genetically more prone to gum disease than other people are.

WHO GETS GUM DISEASE?

Gum disease does not usually occur until people reach their 30s or 40s, although some teenagers do develop gingivitis. The disease is more prevalent in men than it is in women, and the most common cause of gum disease is the build-up of plaque along the gum line.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE GUM DISEASE?

The main indications that you may have gum disease are:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Swollen, red, painful gums
  • Bleeding around the gums
  • Chewing becomes painful
  • Gums receding from the teeth
  • Sensitive or loose teeth

If you do experience any of the above symptoms, you should visit your dentist who will check your gums and teeth, and discuss your medical history and other factors that may be the cause of gum disease. Your dentist Markham will also check the depth of the pockets around your teeth, which in healthy gums, would be somewhere between one and three millimetres.

THE DENTIST OR HYGIENIST MAY ALSO:

An x-ray may be taken to check for bone loss and you may be referred to a periodontist, who are specialists in the field of gum disease.

HOW IS GUM DISEASE TREATED?

The first objective of the treatment will be to control the spread of the infection. The treatment required will depend on the extent of the problem, but all treatments will need to be followed up with good daily oral hygiene at home.

DEEP CLEANING (SCALING AND ROOT PLANING)

When the deep cleaning is carried out, the dental hygienist or dentist uses scaling and root planing to provide a deep down clean of the teeth. The method known as scaling scrapes tartar from the teeth below and above the gum line. Root planing removes rough patches from the teeth. Sometimes, a laser is used to remove tartar and plaque.

SURGICAL TREATMENTS

Flap Surgery

If, after deep cleaning treatments and medication, inflammation persists and there are deep pockets, a periodontist or dentist may perform a surgical procedure known as flap surgery. This is a very common procedure that entails lifting the gums, removing the tartar that has built up, and then suturing the gums around the tooth again so that they fit snugly. This will make future cleaning of the teeth much easier and a lot more effective.

Bone and tissue grafts

Depending on the severity of the periodontitis and the damage that has been caused, your dentist may suggest that you also undergo procedures for regenerating bone and gum tissue. Bone grafting might be recommended, which replaces bone with synthetic or natural bone, along with guided tissue regeneration, which is a means of ensuring that gum tissue does not grow where the bone should be growing. Other treatments that might be recommended include protein treatments to encourage the growth of new bones, and soft tissue grafts.

HOW CAN I KEEP MY TEETH AND GUMS HEALTHY?

  • Brush your teeth, with fluoride toothpaste, twice a day.
  • Regularly floss between the teeth to remove food particles and plaque
  • Have a regular check-up and clean at your dentist
  • Give up smoking

CAN GUM DISEASE CAUSE HEALTH PROBLEMS BEYOND THE MOUTH?

Although there is no conclusive evidence, some studies have suggested that gum disease might be a contributing factor in the risk of developing heart disease and blood sugar disorders. It has also been suggested that women who have gum disease have a higher risk of delivering prematurely and delivering underweight babies. It should be stressed, though, that it has not been proven that gum disease is the root cause of the increased risk of these conditions. What is a fact, however, is that treating gum disease will reduce the risk of you losing your teeth.