Gum Disease – What Is It?
Gum disease is a very complex, and very Common disease in the UK and rest of the world.
To simplify things, gum disease is caused by bacteria, which causes inflammation of the gums (Gingivitis). Sometimes this will progress into a condition which affects the bone, and erodes the bone away (periodontitis).
There are a lot of treatments for gum disease, and the right treatment depends on how far the treatment has progressed, and what you as a patient would like.
Mild Gum Disease
Mild gum disease is quite easy to treat. The symptoms for this are just bleeding when you brush, or floss. The treatment for this should be regular hygiene sessions from your dentist or hygienist – usually once every 3-6 months.
If mild gum disease is controlled well, then it will not progress into advanced gum disease (periodontitis).
It is important to know that gum disease is controlled at home, and not at the dental clinic. You should use the hygiene sessions to learn how to control your gum condition, and spend a long time, every single day, cleaning all the hard to reach areas in your mouth. The hygienist can give you feedback about what areas need more attention, and which areas are being cleaned well.
Moderate Gum Disease
Moderate gum disease is when mild gingivitis starts to develop into advanced gum disease. This is a critical time, as stopping the disease getting worse should be a priority! This will mean regular hygiene sessions, maybe once a month, or once every couple of months – and a lot of effort on your behalf!
Sometimes, it is better to see a gum specialist, and they can arrange the best treatment regime for you.
Advanced Gum Disease
Advance gum disease is when the gum level on teeth starts getting low, teeth can become loose, there is often a smell, but surprisingly there is very little discomfort.
In these cases, its quite often better just to remove the most hopeless teeth, and focus your efforts on maintaining the teeth which have a better prognosis.
If you are considering replacing the hopeless teeth (and you certainly should), then the gum disease should be controlled, and then tooth replacement sought.
Why Gum Disease Gets Bad
In my experience, gum disease gets bad because those affected know that something is wrong, (The bleeding gums give it away), but often they are afraid of going to the dentist, or fear what the dentist will say. This is completely the wrong attitude. These days going to the dentist can be a nice experience, we know some people are very anxious, so we try our very best to make the whole experience painless and empowering – everyone can have the best, and most healthy smile possible.
It all starts with a phone call, if you are affected by gum disease, you should definitely see a dentist as soon as possible.