What Is Gum Disease and What Does It Mean for Your Teeth?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that deserves to be taken very seriously. Unfortunately gum disease is extremely common and it is one of the reasons why we thoroughly recommend regular check-ups and professional cleanings here at Ladbroke Grove Dental Care.
A Quick Explanation about Gum Disease
Each day plaque bacteria build up over your teeth and gums. Most are removed through regular brushing and flossing but any that remain can quickly begin to colonise your gums, producing toxins that will inflame and infect them. One of the earliest signs of gum disease is noticing your gums begin to bleed, although not everyone with gum disease will have this symptom. Ideally, our dentist in Ladbroke Grove prefers to catch gum disease at this early stage which is called gingivitis because it is still completely curable and will not have caused any extensive damage to your gums.
However if it progresses it becomes a condition called periodontitis which is considerably more serious and it will do far more damage to your gums and the bone surrounding your teeth. As the disease develops, you will notice your gums begin to pull away from your teeth, creating the effect that your teeth are longer than they really are as the tooth roots become exposed. As the bacterial infection begins to destroy the bone around your teeth, they will eventually come loose. This is why gum disease is the most common reason for tooth loss, not just here in the UK but worldwide.
Treating Gum Disease
If you have gingivitis then treatment is pretty straightforward and non-invasive. You will need to see our hygienist to have your teeth thoroughly cleaned. This is because plaque bacteria that have built up on your teeth will have hardened into a substance called calculus and which can only be removed by being scraped or scaled away. If your gum disease is more severe, our dentist in Ladbroke Grove might need to deep clean your gums during a process called scaling and root planing. This is similar to a normal scale and polish but cleans out the pockets in between your teeth in your gums that have developed as the gums pulled away from your teeth. It is very effective but treatment may need to be ongoing to help control this condition. Sometimes to help kill off more bacteria, we will place topical antibiotics into the gum pockets. The aim is to help shrink these gum pockets so they are easier to keep clean and to prevent any further damage to your gums and the bone surrounding your teeth.
Severe periodontitis may need specialised care from a periodontist who has received advanced training in treating gum conditions. These days there are a lot of different techniques that can be done to help rebuild the bone and gum tissue that has been destroyed with gum disease.
Our dentist in Ladbroke Grove would far rather things never got to this stage and regular professional dental care combined with good oral hygiene routine at home can keep your gums healthy and strong. Gum disease might be very common but there is no reason for you to develop it.
If you are at all concerned you might have gum disease then please book an appointment with our dentist in Ladbroke Grove soon as you can as it is vital to catch this condition early on. Call us on 020 7727 9836.