Gum disease (Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease) begins with bacterial growth in your mouth and may end if it is not properly treated, with tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth.
Gingivitis is gum inflammation that will occur before periodontitis. Most people get gingivitis at some point in their lives, but its mild symptoms make it easy to ignore and without treatment, it can cause many issues. Luckily, gingivitis is easily reversible by brushing your teeth, flossing, and having regular dental cleanings and checkups.
If gingivitis remains untreated, a person with periodontitis has much more serious issues. The inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These small spaces between teeth and gums collect debris and can become infected. The body's immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line.
Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque, as well as the body's "good" enzymes involved in fighting infections, start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. Thereby, tooth loss can occur. Gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss in adults.
Some symptoms of gum disease to watch out for are:
- Gums that bleed during brushing
- Receding gums
- Bad breath or a persistent bad taste
- Red, swollen gums. Healthy gums should be pink and firm
- Loose or shifting teeth
The goals of gum disease treatment are to promote reattachment of healthy gums to teeth, this means to reduce swelling and reduce the depth of pockets. This, therefore, reduces the risk of infection and stops the disease from progressing.
Treatment options depend on the stage of disease, how you may have responded to earlier treatments and your overall health. Options range from nonsurgical therapies that control bacterial growth, to surgery to restore supportive tissues.
Nonsurgical treatments can include professional dental cleaning, and also scaling and root planing. Surgical treatments can include flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery, bone grafts and guided tissue regeneration.
If you have any concerns about gum disease or your overall oral health, don’t hesitate to book a check-up and chat with one of our experienced dentists.
Hygienist appointment: £63 for 20 minutes
Additional charges for longer appointments