Do your gums bleed after flossing or brushing? Does it hurt when you bite into crunchy or hard foods? Do you notice the colour of your gums turning darker?
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you may have gum disease. To find out about the causes and treatment of gum diseases, contact Face Value Dental at(07) 3221 0677.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is not something you wish to hear from a dentist. Thankfully, it is a treatable disease, particularly when detected at an early stage.
You will find in a person’s mouth millions of microscopic bacteria, many of which are actually beneficial to the human body. However, when these bacteria come into contact with mucus and food particles, they harden to form plaque. While regular brushing and flossing are beneficial to reducing plaque, they sometimes fail to completely remove it thus allowing it to develop into gingivitis.
Gingivitis is essentially an inflammation of the gums. At the onset, gingivitis can cause mild bleeding and swollen gums. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious problems like receding gums and a tooth loss condition.
Extreme cases of gum diseases have even been linked to serious medical conditions like diabetes, heart attack and stroke. The severe form of gingivitis – when the bacteria reach deep below the gum line and attack the bone and tissues – is known as periodontitis.
If you have already been diagnosed with periodontal disease, do not worry. There are many treatment options available to deal with your problem – including preventive and non-surgical means.
When you go for a dental examination, the dentist will assess your individual situation and determine the seriousness of your plaque build-up. Following the oral exam, the hygienist will gently clean your teeth using a minimally-invasive approach called the AIRFLOW® system to get rid of as much of the plaque as possible. You will be advised to get your teeth cleaned more regularly, the frequency of which depends on the severity of your gum disease.
An instrument known as the scaler is used to scrap off the plaque deposits on the surface of your teeth. Our dentists utilise modern ultrasonic scalers that are not only more effective but do the same job faster. We adopt scaling techniques that are more innovative and less invasive to promote patient comfort.
While scaling involves removing the plaque and tartar from the gum line, root planing helps to smoothen out the rough bacteria-infested spots of the root itself. Both scaling and root planing are essential for the removal of plaque or calculus from your teeth that are responsible for the inflammation.
Such deep cleaning methods are usually sufficient enough to treat mild to moderate cases of gum disease while making sure that the inflammation does not occur again.
A course of antibiotics – including doxycycline, tetracycline and minocycline – may be recommended to curb or reduce bacterial build-up in the gums.
Over-the counter toothpastes that contain fluoride and triclosan may also be used help treat gum disease.
A special type of mouth rinse containing chlorhexidine – anti-microbial medication – may also be prescribed to treat gum disease.
Whether in the form of mouth rinses or gels, these medications are applied to the periodontal pockets to control the bacterial infection and promote healing of the tissues.
Sugar is the most detrimental substance for people who suffer from gum disease. A high amount of sugar in your diet not only encourages bacteria growth in your teeth and gums, it also reduces the efficiency of your immune system.
Reducing your intake of foods that contain a lot of sugar is one of the most effective methods of curbing or reducing the likelihood of periodontal disease. Our oral hygienists will advise you on various ways to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet that contains less sugar – without compromising on your nutritional needs.
Reducing your consumption of alcohol can lower the risk of periodontal disease. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to dehydration that encourages the development of plaque in your mouth. Excessive alcohol intake also suppresses your immune system and slows the regenerative process of the bones and tissue in your mouth.
A well-balanced diet that consists of vitamins C, D and A help to strengthen your mouth’s defences against gum disease. Grains, vegetables, fish and fruits are all recommended staples for a nutritional diet plan.
The need to maintain a daily brushing and flossing regime, coupled with twice yearly checks-and-cleans at the dentist’s office, cannot be overstated.
To make sure your teeth and gums are free from periodontal disease, you would need to incorporate regular dental exams and cleaning with your at-home routine cleaning activities. This is not an option but a priority if you wish to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Prevention is always better than cure and this is perhaps more true for periodontal disease than any other dental ailments.
For early detection, prevention and intervention of gum disease, call Face Value Dental at (07) 3221 0677.
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