What is it?
Gum disease describes swelling soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are 2 main types, gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. Your gums around your teeth become red and swollen and will often bleed when brushed.
Long standing gingivitis can turn into periodontitis. This affects the tissues supporting the teeth and as the disease progresses bone anchoring teeth is lost and teeth become loose.
What is the cause?
All gum disease is caused by plaque. However some individuals are more susceptible to destructive gum disease than others. Because the disease is usually painless it can become very bad without you noticing.
Early detection of gum disease is very important. It is our policy at your routine examinations to carry out screening for this. If significant problems are found we then carry out a more detailed periodontal examination. Xrays are also important as they can show us the amount of bone that has been lost.
This will involve a combination of professional cleaning with the dentist or hygienist and detailed instruction of homecare to be carried out by you at home. Complexity of cleaning carried at the surgery will depend on the extent to which your gum disease has progressed. If gum disease has progressed significantly beneath the gumline then a local anaesthetic will usually be used to enable us to be more thorough with your cleaning.
The importance of homecare cannot be over-emphasised. You will be shown a range of ways that suit you to effectively clean all areas of your teeth and gums. Although your gums will be monitored at regular intervals, it is your daily routine that will keep your gum disease under control.
For further information please contact the practice and leaflets can be supplied on request.