Do you have red, swollen, and painful gums? Does it bleed when you brush or floss? Is bad breath a persistent problem? You may be suffering from gum disease.
At Crossroad Dental practice, we have a team of periodontists who are committed to helping you get your oral health back. We work with you to identify gum diseases as early as possible. It is a good idea to come in for an appointment if you notice anything wrong with your gums. The sooner you identify a problem and start treatment, the better it is.
Gum disease, which is also called periodontal disease, is caused by the plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth and beneath the gum line. There are millions of bacteria in tartar and they attack your teeth and gums that cause gum irritation and tooth decay. When the gums are attacked, the body’s immune mechanism springs into action and reacts with an inflammatory response which is what causes the gums to swell and become red. The immune response is aimed at fighting off the bacteria, but it is important to get help if this happens. If left untreated, the condition may progressively worsen and you may end up with severely damaged teeth, receded gums, or in extreme cases even infection of the jaw bone.
Gum disease is generally silent. This means that visible symptoms may not appear until it has advanced to a serious level. The best way to catch gum disease at the earliest is during your regular half-yearly dental check-up.
The following are the most common symptoms of gum disease:
The goal of periodontic treatment is to thoroughly clean the gum pockets around the teeth. This helps prevent damage to the surrounding bone structure and teeth. There are non-surgical and surgical treatment options available.
We recommend these treatments for periodontitis in the beginning stages.
Scaling and root planing – Scaling is a treatment to remove bacteria from the surface of your teeth and from beneath the gums. Root planning refers to the smoothening of the surface of the root, thus eliminating bumpy surfaces that may harbour bacteria and encourage plaque build-up. This treatment removes all harmful build-up from the teeth and gums.
Antibiotics – We may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics if required. Topical antibiotics include mouth rinses or gels that can be inserted between the pockets around the teeth after the deep cleaning is complete. We may also prescribe oral antibiotics to make sure that infection-causing bacteria are completely eliminated.
If the non-surgical treatments are not enough, you may need surgical intervention. Pocket reduction surgery and soft tissue grafts are the common surgical procedures.
Pocket reduction surgery involves making a tiny incision in your gums so the gum tissue can be lifted back to facilitate thorough cleaning. If bone loss has occurred, we may recontour the bone before sewing the gum tissue back. Soft tissue grafts are usually recommended for receded gums. A small amount of tissue is removed from your palate and attached to the affected site.
If you need a consultation to discuss whether you have gum disease, call us to schedule an appointment right away. Our friendly team will fix an appointment at your convenience.