Gum disease or periodontal disease is a very common condition which affects mainly adults. The signs of gum disease are swollen gums, bleeding after or during tooth brushing or bad breath. The early stages of gum disease is called gingivitis. If gingivitis is left untreated it will become periodontitis. Unfortunately periodontitis causes loss of the supporting tissues that hold teeth in place. Principally the bone that holds teeth firmly in place is damaged during periodontitis. Over time this bone loss leads to natural teeth becoming mobile. Bone loss caused due to gum disease is not reversible and is the main cause of tooth loss in adults.
Gum disease occurs due to plaque build up around the gum margins of your teeth. Plaque contains some bacteria that are harmless however some bacteria can produce acids as well as other toxins which can destroy gum and bone tissues over the long term. However, periodontal disease is preventable and can be treated by maintaining a good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist, hygienist or periodontist regularly. Early diagnosis of the condition is very important to prevent long term damage. Seeing your dentist regularly will ensure that any negative effects of gum disease will be reduced.
At Brighton Implant Clinic we carry out a Basic Periodontal Examination with every new patient that attends our clinic. We also provide 6 monthly or yearly comparisons for all patients.
Signs and symptoms of gum disease
- Gums bleed easily
- Bleeding after brushing or flossing your teeth
- Puss in between the gums and teeth when they’re pressed
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Bad taste in the mouth or persistent bad breath
- Change in the way the teeth fit together or in your bite
- Loose teeth or separating teeth
- Change in the way your partial dentures fit together
Seeing your dentist
If you have any symptoms of gum disease or if you suspect that you have a problem with your gum tissues then you should arrange an appointment to see your dentist. Your dentist will carry out a thorough examination to check the health of your teeth and gums. Your dentist will carry out an initial periodontal health screening (also known as a basic periodontal examination or BPE). The dentist carefully measures the depth of the small pockets that surround the teeth and grades the depths from zero to four (0-4), with 0 being very good and 4 being very poor. Based upon the results of the basic periodontal examination your dentist will carry out further periodontal treatment, refer you to a hygienist or refer you to a periodontist (gum treatment specialist)
Proper brushing at least twice a day isn’t enough to get rid of plaque; therefore it is extremely important to floss the teeth on a daily basis. Plaque, if not removed, will result in the formation of a thick deposit known as tartar. Tartar buildup on your teeth as well as below your gum line can cause inflammation and chronic infection. Tartar can only be removed by getting the teeth professionally cleaned by your dentist, hygienist or periodontist.
Complications Of Gum Disease
- loss of teeth
- mobile teeth
- spaces between teeth leading to food trapping between teeth
- periodontal infections or abscesses
- has been proven to be connected to heart disease
Once plaque has hardened on the teeth surfaces it is difficult to remove with conventional brushing and flossing. A hygienist will use specific instruments called scalers to carefully remove the hard tartar on the teeth. Ultrasonic scalers are also used and these are both more comfortable for patients and also speed up the process for plaque removal.
Brighton Implant Clinic has 4 dental clinics based in Sussex, our clinics provide treatment for gum disease with both dentists as well as hygienists. Where necessary we refer patients to a periodontist for further treatment. For more information please feel free to Contact Brighton Implant Clinic or Call us on 0800 111 6623.