Gum disease is a very common condition, affecting most adults in the UK at least once. It can have a serious effect on your dental health if left untreated. Some of the symptoms include bleeding gums, sensitive or swollen gums, receding gums, bad breath or loosening teeth.
How do we treat gum disease?
The most important aspect of treatment for gum disease is an improvement in oral hygiene and a reduction in the amount of deposits on the teeth. Your dentist or hygienist will advise you on methods and techniques that are suitable for you.
If you have gingivitis – the least serious type of gum disease – your dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth thoroughly above and below the gums using a handheld or electric instrument. This is sometimes called a scale and polish.
Your hygienist may also recommend a mouthwash that can help prevent plaque forming.
If you don’t get treatment for gingivitis, the inflammation may spread to the ligaments and bones that hold your teeth in place. This is called periodontitis and leads to a loss of bone and development of deeps pockets around the teeth.
If you have periodontitis you may need extra treatment to remove the plaque, tartar and damaged tooth covering. This is called root planing. During the treatment your dentist or hygienist may inject a local anaesthetic into your gums if needed. This will completely block the feeling from your gums but you’ll remain awake during the treatment.
You may also need to have several follow-up appointments so your dentist or hygienist can check the size of any pockets in your gums to ensure your treatment has worked.
You may need to have gum surgery if your gum disease is severe. This will be carried out by a periodontal specialist.
Through specialised surgical techniques, we may be able to restore soft and hard tissue that has been lost where teeth have been extracted due to infection.
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