Gum disease (periodontal disease) is one of the most common infections or diseases in Sutton and around the world. It affects millions of people in the UK. As it often doesn’t cause pain, many people are walking around with the disease for decades without knowing they have it. Gum disease ultimately causes tooth loss, but it has been scientifically proven to interact with many medical conditions:
- It can make diabetes worse
- Improving plaque control was shown to improve blood sugar levels
- It can cause heart problems
- It has been linked to low birth weight babies
Signs and symptoms that suggest you may have gum disease:
1. Bleeding gums.
This is NOT normal. Your gums should not be bleeding, even when brushing, flossing, or using interproximal brushes. The reason they are bleeding is because they are unhealthy. Once plaque accumulates around the gums, the body treats the bacteria like an invading pathogen. The response is that it rushes all the blood to the area so that it can fight off this infection and the fight against the bacteria is essentially what gum disease is. The bacteria attack the gums and bone, leading to bone loss, and they also infect the blood stream, which transports them all over the body.
2. Your gums will look puffy, red, and enlarged
Healthy gums should be pink and firm. Once you have had gum treatment they will visibly look better.
3. Bad breath
The leading cause of bad breath is gum disease. The more bacteria you have in the mouth, from not cleaning properly and the more pockets you have from gum disease, the more your breath will smell. If you suffer from bad breath, you must visit your hygienist as soon as possible.
4. Loose Teeth
If you have loose teeth or even a single loose tooth, it’s highly likely that it’s caused by gum disease. Bacteria attack the bone that holds the teeth/tooth in place, and your bone slowly shrinks away. The more bone that’s lost, the looser the tooth will become. If you notice a single loose tooth, go see your dentist as soon as possible, because it may be possible to save the rest of your teeth.
Treatment for gum disease
Treatment for gum disease involves the removal of bacteria from your mouth – it’s that simple.
When you have gum disease, your gums move away from your tooth, creating something called a pocket. The base of this pocket can be 5mm below your gum level, so it’s impossible for you to clean down there with a normal toothbrush, which means it’s a great place for bacteria to live, completely shielded. They will generally live there for years, slowly eating away at the gums and bone – creating deeper and deeper pockets. As they don’t experience any pain – people generally don’t seek treatment and they suddenly realize their teeth are getting loose. Once you have lost your bone it’s impossible to get it back and often, it’s too late to save the tooth. What’s more, is that the NHS system is not really designed to treat gum disease, so it’s often left untreated, meaning your teeth are getting worse and worse over the years.
Remove all the bacteria from ABOVE your gums and teach you how to ensure you are cleaning your entire mouth properly everyday
Review to ensure plaque control is optimal and all plaque has been removed from your teeth. Measure pockets around your whole mouth and record them
Stage 3 – Periodontal Treatment
Deep cleaning, which means we are cleaning out the pockets. This is cleaning UNDERNEATH your gums.
Review oral hygiene to ensure plaque control is optimal and clean above the gum if necessary
Re-measure pockets around your whole mouth and record. We then compare this to the original record to see how much improvement we have made. If any pockets are left, we continue to do deep cleaning until they have resolved
Normally, we expect you to need a few cycles of deep cleaning before we can achieve satisfactory results. If you would like us to formulate a plan to cure your gum disease, please give us a call. Remember, gum disease is a very treatable disease!