Much of avoiding gum disease has to do with prevention. However, if you do develop gum disease, it’s not the end of the road for your teeth. As well as offering routine hygienist appointments, we can perform gum disease treatments to address severe symptoms of gum disease, and get you back on track with your oral health.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a common condition, affecting somewhere between 50-90% of people across the U.K and the U.S.
The disease affects the gums and the bone around your teeth and in severe cases, it can result in tooth loss, as well as further health problems affecting organs including the heart and pancreas.
The good news is gum disease is entirely preventable, with the right oral care. Here at Corner House Dental, we can provide tailored gum disease treatments that alleviate symptoms caused by gum disease and reverse the progression of gum disease. For some, this may be a thorough scale and polish treatment to stop gingivitis from worsening. In the case of advanced gum disease, non-surgical periodontal treatment can be carried out to deal with plaque that’s collected under your gums.
How can I tell if I have gum disease?
There are 2 types of gum disease; gingivitis and periodontitis. The former is the early stage of gum disease and the latter is the advanced stage.
It’s not uncommon for gum disease to cause no symptoms, particularly as gingivitis develops. However, there may be visible signs present that your hygienist can pick up on and address, highlighting the importance of frequent trips to the hygienist.
Common symptoms of gingivitis
- Swollen and puffy gums
- Gums that are red or dark red in colour (healthy gums are pink in colour).
- Chronic bad breath.
- Gum recession.
- Tender gums.
- Bleeding when you brush or floss.
Common symptoms of periodontitis
Periodontitis can display the same symptoms as gingivitis, with the addition of the following:
- Loose teeth.
- New gaps between teeth.
- Extreme tooth sensitivity.
- Pus between your teeth and gums.
- Trouble chewing.
- Severe gum recession.
- A change in the way your teeth bite together.
What gum disease treatments are available to me at Corner House Dental?
As experienced professionals who have helped hundreds of patients stabilise their gum health. In cases where a patient has developed periodontitis and there is plaque in the periodontal pockets below the gum line, we can perform a treatment called root planing and scaling.
Once this has been carried out, regular trips to the hygienist are vital for preventing below-the-gum-line plaque from returning. We may ask you to come in more frequently in the initial months after root scaling and planning has been performed, so we can be sure that the gum disease has been stabilised.
The future of your gum health thereafter will depend on your at-home oral hygiene routine. Your periodontist here in Norwich can provide the advice you need to maintain healthy gums. It might be that we recommend a change in diet and lifestyle following your gum disease treatment, such as reducing the acids and sugar content in your diet or quitting smoking.
Are some people more prone to gum disease than others?
There are some demographics who are more prone to gum disease. These include:
Smokers: being a smoker considerably increases your risk of developing gum disease. In fact, for an individual who smokes over 10 cigarettes a day, the risk of gum disease is 4 to 5 times higher compared with someone who smokes less than this. Studies have also looked at tooth loss as a consequence of smoking, compared with non-smokers. According to the Journal of Dental Research, “Male smokers are up to 3.6 times more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers, whereas female smokers were found to be 2.5 more likely”. As smoking shrouds gum bleeding (which as we’ve mentioned, is a key symptom of gum disease), gums can appear healthier than they may appear to be.
Pregnant women: up to 70% of pregnant women develop gum inflammation, or gingivitis, which is due to changes in hormone levels. It’s for this reason that this form of gum disease is often dubbed “pregnancy gingivitis”.
Individuals with a poor immune system: an unhealthy diet, failing to exercise regularly and certain chronic medical conditions can impact the immune system. In turn, this can hinder your mouth’s ability to heal and fend off inflammation.
Genetics: we understand how frustrating it can be if you’re someone who is diligent with their oral health routine, healthy and a non-smoker, but who has susceptibility to gum disease due to genetics. However, just because you have a parent with gum disease, doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop it too.
Protect your gums, to protect your body
There is now sufficient research to draw a compelling connection between plaque and heart disease. Studies have shown that when plaque builds up during the development of gum disease, it can enter the bloodstream and clog the arteries, compromising your heart health.
According to Harvard Health, people with gum disease have 2 or 3 times the risk of having a cardiovascular event.
Contact a periodontist in Norwich
Get in touch with us if you think you might be suffering from gum disease-related symptoms. If you’re overdue a hygienist check-up and you live in Norwich, we highly recommend booking in to have your mouth checked over, and any plaque and tartar removed.