Periodontal disease can not only lead to the loss of teeth, but can also affect general health and one’s appearance, resulting in a lack of confidence and low self-esteem.
Gum disease is most commonly caused by a build up of plaque on the teeth. The bacteria in plaque can irritate the gums, causing them to become inflamed and sore.
Over time, if not treated early enough, the irritation leads to gum infection and receding gums. The disease destroys the gum’s attachment to the roots of the teeth, and as it becomes more severe there will be bone loss around the teeth, loosening of the teeth and ultimately tooth loss. As the disease progresses the mouth obviously becomes unsightly and sufferers develop halitosis (bad breath).
Periodontal disease can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene, and our dental hygienists are committed to educating patients how best to keep their teeth super clean and free of plaque, using interdental brushing and other techniques. Research has found, however, that there are other risk factors which increase the risk of developing gum disease, such as smoking, diabetes, a weakened immune system, stress, bad diet and a family history of periodontal disease.
The symptoms of periodontal disease include bad breath, red or swollen gums, loose and sensitive teeth, receding gums, and bleeding gums. In the early stages gum disease is called gingivitis.
When you present to London Road Dental with early signs of gum disease we will immediately begin to treat your gingivitis and correct the problems. Hopefully, though, if you visit the dentist and dental hygienist regularly, any risk of developing periodontal disease would have been picked up and halted before reaching the symptomatic point.
One of the dental treatments used to control and/or prevent gum disease is a scale and polish, which involves removing plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) with a professional clean by a dental hygienist.
In more severe cases root planing (root debridement) may be indicated, involving cleaning under the gums to remove the bacteria from around the roots of your teeth. This may be performed under a local anaesthetic.
In advanced cases it may be necessary to remove affected teeth, in which case the dentist will be able to advise on restoration options.
Left totally untreated the gum disease progresses to an extremely unpleasant and painful condition called Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis (Trench Mouth), which requires treatment with antibiotics, prescription mouthwash and painkillers as well as oral hygiene advice and various dental treatments.
Don’t put your smile at risk! Call London Road Dental on 01249 446568 to book an appointment for an oral health check.