Gum disease is caused by plaque which accumulates around the gums and in susceptible people causes a gap or pocket to appear between the tooth and the gum. If left untreated the bone around the teeth dissolves away and a tooth affected by gum disease may show signs of bleeding gums, looseness, spaces appear around neighbouring teeth, swelling and discomfort.
Smoking worsens both the severity and prognosis of gum disease. If you are susceptible to gum disease a small amount of plaque causes a lot of problems.
Treatment of gum disease is targeted to attempt to optimise your tooth cleaning (plaque control) via effective brushing and interdental cleaning and to scale away historical debris. Sometimes the gum disease is too advanced for simple treatment to be effective so gum surgery is needed to clean away debris effectively.
Gum surgery is undertaken by numbing the mouth. The gum is reflected from the teeth and debris and infected tissue scraped away. The gum is stitched back in place. The stitches are removed about 1 week later. Following gum surgery there is a degree of pain and swelling which varies from person to person. The diet may be limited in the days immediately after surgery. In addition the gum will shrink a little up the root of the teeth.
Sometimes gum disease causes the teeth to become loose and move and so it is occasionally necessary to place white fillings to maintain aesthetics and a splint to secure the teeth and to prevent relapse and further drifting of teeth.
Long term follow up and continued high standards of tooth cleaning are ESSENTIAL to keep gum disease under control. If this tooth cleaning slips significantly the gum disease will re-establish itself. If gum disease is left untreated multiple teeth will be lost via gum disease in the fullness of time.
The Practice stocks a wide range of tooth cleaning products. Ask the dentist or hygienist at your appointment to tell you which ones are most suited to your individual needs.