WHAT IS IT?
Inflammatory gum diseases which include gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial stimulated infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Gum Treatment can slow or stop the progression of gum disease.
Why is it done?
Gum Treatment will save your teeth, or slow down their loss. We will give advice on oral hygiene, clean plaque and tarter from teeth and treat gum disease.
Gum disease is where you lose what is around the tooth and the tooth then has nothing to support it, so it eventually becomes loose and falls out.
Quite often gum disease is a silent disease…you would only know about if your dentist told you! Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss.
How does it happen?
The bacteria present in plaque destroy firstly the gum, and then bone around a tooth. Early gum disease just involves gum inflammation and is called gingivitis. If untreated it can progress to advanced gum disease, which also involves infection of bone, this is called periodontitis. Bone destruction is irreversible so it is important to catch this disease in its early stages.
The following factors make you more vulnerable to gum disease:
- Poor Oral Hygiene
What can be done to prevent/treat gum disease?
You should ensure that you clean your teeth properly with a fluoride toothpaste twice daily, floss daily and visit your dentist/hygienist at the recommended intervals.Your dentist should monitor your gums by probing them to check for any “pockets” (see below). A measurement between 0 to 3mm is healthy, whilst anything over this is unhealthy and needs treating.
If you have gum disease you will require regular cleaning (scale and polish) with either the dentist or hygienist, as a part of your treatment. If you have advanced gum disease you will need to see a gum specialist (periodontist) to try and save your teeth.
Healthy Mouth = Healthy Body
Infections in the mouth can play havoc elsewhere in the body. Since July of 1998, evidence has continued to mount to support these links. While more research needs to be done to say definitively that people with periodontal (gum) disease are at higher risk for developing heart disease, stroke, uncontrolled diabetes, preterm births and respiratory disease, dentists do know that periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, and all infections are cause for concern.
Periodontal bacteria can enter the blood stream and travel to major organs and begin new infections. Research is suggesting that this may:
- Contribute to the development of heart disease, the nation’s leading cause of death.
- Increase the risk of stroke.
- Increase a woman’s risk of having a preterm, low birth weight baby.
- Pose a serious threat to people whose health is compromised by diabetes, respiratory diseases, or osteoporosis.
Don’t Ignore Your Oral Health
If you value your oral as well as your overall health, a periodontal evaluation is a good idea. Sometimes the only way to detect periodontal disease is through a periodontal evaluation. This would routinely be done by your dentist. A periodontal evaluation may be especially important if you:
- Notice any symptoms of periodontal disease.
- Have heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease or osteoporosis.
- Are thinking of becoming pregnant.
- Have a family member with periodontal disease. Research suggests that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can pass through saliva. This means the common contact of saliva in families puts children and couples at risk for contracting the periodontal disease of another family member.
- Have a sore or irritation in your mouth that does not get better within two weeks.