General Dental

Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as Periodontitis, is a bacterial infection that, over time, can lead to the loss of gum and supporting tissues that help hold your teeth in place.

Gum disease, also known as Periodontitis, is a bacterial infection that, over time, can lead to the loss of gum and supporting tissues that help hold your teeth in place. When plaque is not effectively removed through daily flossing and brushing, it hardens and forms into calculus, which unfortunately can only be removed by a dentist. This buildup of calculus not only encourages further buildup to occur, but your gums become more susceptible to infection and inflammation.
 

Early signs of Gum disease

There are three stages of gum disease:

1. Gingivitis

This is the earliest stage of periodontal disease. It is the inflammation of the gums caused by dental plaque and calculus along the gum line. It is usually identifiable by mild redness or swelling of the gum tissue surrounding your teeth, and you may experience some bleeding when brushing or flossing. Gum disease in this stage is usually reversible because the bone and supporting structures that hold your teeth in place haven’t been affected.

2. Periodontitis

At this stage of gum disease, the bone and connective tissue that hold your teeth in place have become irreversibly damaged. A pocket below the gumline has begun to form, which allows plaque to accumulate in those areas leading to further buildup of calculus.

3. Advanced Periodontitis

When gum disease is left untreated and has advanced to this stage, the bone and supporting structures that hold your teeth in place have usually suffered a significant amount of damage. This can lead to teeth shifting or becoming loose.

 

Other symptoms of Gum disease

Gum disease is primarily painless, and because of this, many people suffer from it without even realizing until it’s in its advanced stages or picked up by their dentist. Interestingly, not everyone who has calculus buildup will develop Gum disease. It depends on your immune system as to whether you are at risk. Keeping plaque and calculus at bay is the best way to prevent Gum disease. This can be done by maintaining good oral hygiene habits and routine check-up and clean appointments with your dentist.

Gingivitis is typically treated through routine professional cleans with your dentist and improved oral hygiene habits at home.

However, Periodontitis in either it’s early or advanced stages will require a specialized deep clean to remove plaque and calculus that has accumulated below the gumline. This type of clean is known as root debridement.
 

Treating Gum disease

Your dentist will utilize local anaesthetic to keep you comfortable throughout the treatment. Because the damage caused by Gum disease is irreversible, treatment is performed to halt the damage process, rather than reverse it.

Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, reducing stress, and a balanced diet can have a profound impact on the success of your treatment. Improved oral hygiene habits and routine dental visits are essential in helping the inflammation to cease, for healing to occur, and to prevent it from advancing any further.

 

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