Gum Disease is a very common condition, yet people are often unaware they have it. Early diagnosis can make a big difference, so it's important you recognise the signs and know what to do about them.
Spitting blood when brushing your teeth could be an early sign of gum disease.
Signs you may have Gum Disease
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth or floss
- Tender or puffy gums
- Pus from between the teeth and gums
- Gums that have pulled away from teeth leaving a pocket
- Finding chewing painful
- Sensitive teeth
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Gaps between teeth that were not there before
If you recognise any of these signs you should definitely make an appointment with out hygienist. We’re passionate about helping patients to prevent gum disease and treating those who have it.
How can I prevent gum diseases?
Everyone should make regular visits to the hygienist. Together with brushing and flossing properly, it’s one of the best ways you can try to avoid gum disease.
More than half of adults across the UK have gum disease, if left untreated it can lead to tooth loss as well as more serious medical conditions. Gum diseas ehas been linked to several major health problems including heart disease and strokes.
What is gigivitis?
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning.
What is periodontal disease?
Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out. In fact, more teeth are lost through periodontal disease than through tooth decay.
Am I likely to suffer from gum disease?
Probably. Most people suffer from some form of gum disease, and it is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. However, the disease develops very slowly in most people, and it can be slowed down to a rate that should allow you to keep most of your teeth for life.
All gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day. Many of the bacteria in plaque are completely harmless, but there are some that have been shown to be the main cause of gum disease. To prevent and treat gum disease, you need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day. This is done by brushing and flossing.
How will smoking affect my gums and teeth?
Smoking can also make gum disease worse. The gum’s ability of repair and defense is diminished by the content of tobacco smoke.
What happens if gum disease is not treated?
Unfortunately, gum disease progresses painlessly on the whole so that you do not notice the damage it is doing. However, the bacteria are sometimes more active and this makes your gums sore. This can lead to gum abscesses, and pus may ooze from around the teeth. Over a number of years, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost. If the disease is left untreated for a long time, treatment can become more difficult or impossible.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
The first sign is blood on the toothbrush or in the rinsing water when you clean your teeth. Your gums may also bleed when you are eating, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Your breath may also become unpleasant.
The first thing to do is visit our dentists for a thorough check-up of your teeth and gums.The dentist can measure the ‘cuff’ of gum around each tooth to see if there is any sign that periodontal disease has started. X-rays may also be needed to see the amount of bone that has been lost. This assessment is very important, so the correct treatment can be prescribed for you.
What treatments are needed?
Our dentist will clean your teeth thoroughly to remove the scale. You’ll also be shown how to remove plaque successfully yourself, cleaning all surfaces of your teeth thoroughly and effectively. This may take a number of sessions with the dentist or hygienist.
Once your teeth are clean, our dentist may decide to carry out further cleaning of the roots of the teeth, to make sure that the last pockets of bacteria are removed. This is known as root planing. Afterwards, you may feel some discomfort for up to 48 hours.
Once I have had periodontal disease, can I get it again?
The periodontal diseases are never cured. But it can be controlled; as long as you keep up the home care you have been taught. Any further loss of bone will be very slow and it may stop altogether. However, you must make sure you remove plaque every day, and go for regular check-ups by the dentist and hygienist.