- Your gum are like cushions for your teeth: they surround the teeth in the jaws and help to support them. Looking after your gum is just as important as looking after your teeth. Red and swollen gums that bleed when you brush them could be a sign of gum disease, also know as gingivitis.
- When gingivitis is left untreated it can develop into a type of infection known as periodontitis, which affects the entire area surrounding the tooth. A result of this could be losing your tooth so it’s vital to avoid.
- To keep your mouth in tip-top shape we recommend you come in for regular hygiene appointments and dental check-ups.
Treatment options at Platinum Dental Group:
1. Scaling and root planning
- The first step in treating gum disease is often through non-surgical periodontal treatment. Specialized instruments are used to remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from deep periodontal pocket and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. This is usually carried out under local anesthetic. Adjunctive therapy such as local delivery antibiotics maybe recommended as needed on a case-by-case basis.
- Most patients do not require further treatment after scaling and root planning. However, the majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy to prevent disease recurrence. Non-surgical therapy does have its limitations, however, and when it does not achieve periodontal health, surgery may be indicated.
2. Surgical Procedures
a. Pocket reduction surgery:
- Deep pockets are difficult for a patient to clean and maintain at home with standard oral hygiene. In pocket reduction surgery, a gum flap is raised and calculus and bacteria removed via direct vision. Irregular surface of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit area where disease-causing bacteria can hide. This allows gum tissue to better reattach to healthy teeth surface. Reduced pockets together with daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth.
b. Regenerative procedures:
- If you have bone lost as a result of periodontal disease, these procedures can reverse some of the damage by regenerating lost bone and tissue. Bone grafts and membranes can be used to encourage your body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue.
3. Other Periodontal procedures
a. Cosmetic gum recontouring:
- If you show a lot of gum when smiling, a “gummy smile”, or you teeth appear too short, a crown lengthening procedure can be done to improve the appearance. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is removed and reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This is usually done to create a natural, broad smile.
b. Crown lengthening:
- A crown lengthening procedure may make a restorative or cosmetic dental procedure possible. If your tooth is decayed below the gum line, or has insufficient tooth structure for a restoration, crown lengthening can adjust the gum and bone level to expose an adequate amount of tooth so it can be restored.
c. Soft tissue graft:
- The gum may recede for various reasons, for example due to over enthusiastic tooth brushing techiques or gum disease. Soft tissue grafts can be used to cover exposed roots due to excessive gingival recession. A tissue graft is taken from the palate area or other donor site or from artifical bio-material (Alloderm®) and placed over the exposed root. This procedure can restore esthetics, improve fuction and reduce sensitivity to hot or cold foods.
Read more about gum disease
What are the tell tale signs of gum disease
- 1. Red, swollen or tender gums.
- 2. Bleeding while brushing and flossing.
- 3. Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before.
- 4. Spaces which develop between teeth.
- 5. Pus or abcesses in mouth.
- 6. Pesistant bad breath.
- 7. A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
- 8. A change in the fit of partial dentures.
To access risk of developing gum disease, please take the risk assessment test formulated by the The American Academy of Periodontology.
What is Gum Disease
- Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a serious infection that can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. The main cause of periodontal disease is bacteria plaque that constantly forms on your teeth. If not removed, the bacterial toxins accumulate which attack the gums and bone surrounding the tooth structure.
- Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene and is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care. If left untreated, gingivitis will progress to a more severe form of gum disease, known as periodontitis.
- In periodontitis, the chronic bacterial toxins elicits an inflammatory response from the body, leading to bone loss. The attachment of the gums to the teeth is broken down, the bone supporting the teeth is destroyed, and pockets form which harbour bacteria and its toxins. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
Periodontal disease with health
- Research has shown that there is an association between periodontal disease and other chromic inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Additional studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. Pregnant women who have periodontal disease maybe seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small.