Gum disease affects a large proportion of the population but most types of gum disease are preventable. Gum disease at a very early stage is called gingivitis and is an inflammatory condition affecting the gums. Most patients with gingivitis will notice their gums may bleed sometimes or every time they brush. In some cases they may be bleeding while eating or spontaneously. Other symptoms of gum disease may be bad breath and unpleasant taste. Gum disease can be cured without any permanent damage if it is diagnosed early so it is important to attend regularly if you are suffering any symptoms. The dentist is likely to scale your teeth and give you oral hygiene advice. You may be advised to see our hygienist.
There is another form of gingivitis which is characterized by pain and ulceration of the gums, called acute ulcerative gingivitis. This condition can occur much more suddenly and can cause rapid irreversible damage to yours gums. It may be widespread or may affect mainly the lower front teeth.
If gingivitis is not treated promptly, it can cause permanent irreversible damage to the bone around the teeth. This is known as periodontal disease.
Your dentist screens you for periodontal disease at every check up, and will advise you if you have periodontal disease, and on itís management.
Your dentist may advise you to have a course of treatment with the hygienist, to treat periodontal disease, or alternatively you may be advised to see a periodontal specialist.
Most people suffering from bad breath will have gum disease and this will resolve after they have had treatment. Some people need regular maintenance visits to keep the gum disease stable and this may be as often as 3 months but is regularly reviewed.
If you have periodontal disease, it may cause tooth eventual tooth loss. You may require extraction of some teeth as well as stabilization treatment. Your dentist may then discuss replacement of missing teeth with implants, dentures or bridgework as part of your treatment plan.
Periodontal disease is normally caused by poor brushing, smoking, stress, diabetes, or a combination of these factors. Some patients may like to see the hygienist for regular cleaning and stain removal.