Are you worried that gum disease spells the end for your teeth and that dentures are inevitable?
Maybe you are just concerned that you may have gum disease (also called periodontal disease) and are looking for some more information. If so this page can help give you an overview.
At Craigentinny Dental Care we take gum disease seriously given its links to whole body health. Research has now demonstrated strong links between gum disease and heart disease, high blood pressure, alzheimer’s and diabetes. In some cases it is though that improving gum health may lessen symptoms or slow down the disease progression. We know that by working with you to provide the right advice, care and support most patients can get to grips with their gum problems. Nearly half of our clinical team are dedicated to treating and preventing this condition and have been successfully helping patients to beat their gum disease for more than 20 years. We use a wide range of treatments including many of the more modern approaches that are much more comfortable that you may have experienced in the past. One such example is Guided Biofilm Therapy considered by many to be the future of maintenance properiodontal disease, our whole hygiene team are currently trained in providing this approach to care.
So if you are suffering from bleeding gums, periodontal disease or just feel the need to be seen in a practice with an active team of dental hygienists we have the knowledge, experience and skills to help you, why not book an appointment for an assessment with one of our dentists now?
What is Gum disease?
Gum disease is the progressive break down of the fibres and bone that support your teeth. In its most advanced form this involves the loss of so much bone that your teeth become loose. Left untreated this can lead to the need for the extraction of multiple teeth. Recent studies have suggested links between untreated gum disease and heart disease as well as other medical conditions so getting to grips with gum disease is an important part of general health too.
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?
Bleeding gums when you brush or floss are the first sign that things are not right. Many people assume that bleeding gums mean that you have brushed too hard; this is simply not the case. Bleeding gums are the first sign of gum disease and is referred to as gingivitis; thankfully this is easily treated if caught early. Untreated gingivitis can progress on to more extensive gum disease and start to destroy the bone that holds your teeth in place. If you can see small areas of swollen gums or redness around the necks of teeth like this photograph then it is likely that you are suffering from gingivitis. Caught at this stage treatment is usually very effective.
Left untreated gingivitis can eventually lead to periodontal disease (gum disease) where the bone that supports the teeth is gradually eroded away. Teeth can drift, become loose or even require removal.
What Causes Gum disease?
Gum disease is mainly caused by:
- A build-up of Plaque and Tartar (called calculus) both above and below the gum line.
- Your natural genetic susceptibility (thanks Mum & Dad!)
- Other factors such as smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, diet and nutrition.
When conditions are right gum disease develops. Initial deposits of tartar cause inflammation of the gums – gingivitis. Over time as the inflammation moves deeper down the side of the tooth as the tartar spreads and eventually the bone that supports the teeth is eroded away.
The main factor that we can control in treating gum disease is plaque and tartar. Plaque is a mixture of the millions of bacteria that live in your mouth, dead skin cells that have rubbed off your gums and bits of food. Plaque and tartar cause inflammation in the gums which starts as gingivitis. In many people gingivitis in time leads to the loss of bone around your teeth which is referred to as periodontal disease or gum disease.
How To Treat Gum Disease
Contrary to popular advertising, mouthwash alone will make no difference to this problem. To treat gum disease you need to eliminate the bacteria that causes gum disease and then keep them at bay. The bacteria forms an almost invisible slime on your teeth called biofilm
Treatment requires hard work from both you and our team here at the practice. We start with detailed records that allow us to measure the initial extent of the problem. With these records we can chart progress as the biofilm that caused your gum disease is systematically and thoroughly removed.
What we do is only part of the solution, as build-up of plaque cannot be stopped completely. We work with you to help develop the most effective day to day home care routine that will give you the best chance of successfully stopping your gum disease. We can also provide advice and where appropriate, support in addressing other factors which impact significantly on gum disease such as smoking, diabetes and nutrition.
Gum disease is a serious condition research has linked it with a number of serious conditions such as heart disease. With an experienced and knowledgeable dental team and your own enthusiasm it can be beaten. The great news is that with a modern approach to treatment and maintenance such as Guided Biofilm Therapy things can be much more comfortable than you imagined, Click on the button below to book an appointment and you might just be surprised at the results.