Gum disease is so common that it affects most people at some point in their lives. It develops in two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Maintaining excellent dental hygiene is your best defence against periodontal disease. Let’s take a closer look at how to treat gum disease.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gingivitis usually starts as the result of accumulated plaque that develops below the gum line. Ordinarily, plaque is removed by brushing and flossing twice a day but when it is left to accumulate the body signals an immune response that causes inflammation. This presents as swelling and redness around the affected tooth.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and it infects the surface layers where the tooth and gum meet each other. You will know you have gingivitis if
- Your gums are swollen, red and painful
- Your gums might bleed a little if you brush too hard or floss with string floss
How To Treat Gum Disease In Its Earliest Stage?
Gingivitis is a reversible condition and can be managed with good oral hygiene.
Continue to brush and floss in the area, even if it feels uncomfortable as this can help to address the infection.
If your gums do not improve, you should contact your dentist so your periodontal disease doesn’t progress.
Periodontitis is an advanced stage of periodontal disease that is not reversible and will occur if first stage gum disease is left untreated. With periodontitis, the infection goes beyond the surface layer and infects the periodontium which connects the teeth and gums to each other.
Periodontitis can affect the cementum that covers the tooth root and the bone and fibres that connect the roots of the tooth to the bone. You will know you have periodontitis through a dental diagnosis or if
- You have swollen and bleeding gums
- Your gums are receding
- A bad taste or bad breath
- Loose or shifting teeth
Periodontal disease can also result in the development of deep pockets around the teeth, as spaces form between the teeth and gums. These pockets can trap more bacteria and worsen periodontal disease.
How To Treat Gum Disease?
The most effective way to treat periodontal disease is for a dental professional to give you a deep clean and remove any plaque or tartar deposits that have formed below your gum line.
Depending on the extent of your periodontal disease, your dentist may also give you a course of antibiotics to assist with getting rid of bacteria.
Scaling and planing the tooth roots may remove the infected material and smooth out your tooth roots. This makes it more difficult for bacteria to hide and multiply. You may need to return for a follow up if your gum disease is severe, to ensure that the bacteria has been removed.
If your gum disease is very advanced you may also need treatment to reduce the periodontal pockets or cover your tooth roots up if they are exposed.
To find out more about how to treat gum disease, you must speak to a professional. Please contact us for an appointment: (02) 4210 9078.