Taking care of your gums is equally important as taking care of your teeth. If you neglect your gums, there is a greater chance for you to develop painful and uncomfortable dental conditions such as gum disease or tooth loss, along with other medical conditions.
While gum disease is a common problem faced by many, it is easily preventable and treatable in early stages. That is, if you don’t ignore the warning signs. At our dental practice, we offer preventative care and gum disease treatment to help you maintain good gum health.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a dental condition resulting from inflammation and infection of tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth. Also known as Periodontal disease, this occurs because of neglected plaque build-up along your teeth that spreads to form pockets of infection beneath the gumline.
When plaque builds up, it creates the perfect environment for the bacteria in your mouth to survive and multiply, eventually causing gum disease and other dental and medical complications.
Left untreated, gum disease can worsen and lead to gum recession, potentially resulting in tooth loss.
What Are The Causes Of Gum Disease?
Gum disease is not a dental condition that arises overnight. It is a combination of certain factors, with the leading cause being plaque build-up on your teeth and along the gumline.
The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars in the food/drinks you consume, forming plaque that can irritate your gums. However, this condition can be avoided if you maintain good oral hygiene with proper oral care and regular visits to the dentist for check-ups and dental cleaning.
Other causes of gum disease include:
Medical conditions such as diabetes
Pregnancy or puberty
What Does Gum Disease Look Like?
If you have gum disease, you may notice symptoms such as:
Being aware of these signs and symptoms of gum disease can help you seek dental care before the condition worsens. So, if you notice any of these symptoms, make your way to our dental practice in Warrnambool for a consultation with one of our dental professionals.
Stages Of Gum Disease
There are two main stages of gum disease:
Gum disease in its early stages is referred to as Gingivitis. It is a reversible condition that affects the surface layers of the gum. No significant damage is caused to the deeper parts of your gums, teeth, or bone at this stage. If you have gingivitis, you may have red and swollen gums that bleed when you brush. With proper oral care, however, you can get rid of plaque and bacteria and improve your gum health. Gingivitis can progress into more severe forms of gum disease, potentially causing tooth loss and other health problems. So, it’s important to address gingivitis early to maintain your oral health.
Gingivitis, when left untreated, can advance into periodontitis. It is an advanced stage of gum disease that severely weakens the gum, and the bone supporting your teeth. The formation of infected gum pockets and tooth sensitivity can be seen as your gums recede, exposing your tooth roots. As periodontitis also affects the bone supporting your teeth, it ultimately results in tooth loss or extraction. While the effects are irreversible at this stage, you can prevent further damage and infection to the rest of your smile by seeking prompt dental treatment.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Keeping gum disease at bay is important for your oral and overall health. Maintaining good oral hygiene is the best way to do this. However, even if you have developed gum disease, it’s still not too late to start. We can help you treat the condition and prevent further damage if you seek professional attention as soon as you notice symptoms. Here are some gum disease treatments we provide at Warrnambool Smile Dental:
Scaling and Root Planing
Also known as deep cleaning, it allows the dentist to remove hardened plaque (tartar) from your mouth. This process involves two stages. The first stage is scaling, where tartar will be scraped off from above and below the gum line. Root planing then smoothens the surfaces of your tooth roots where germs can collect, preventing bacterial build-up.
A gum graft is a minor dental procedure that helps reverse the effects of gum recession. This gum disease treatment involves transplanting healthy gum tissue from the roof of your mouth to the affected areas. By doing this, we can cover exposed tooth roots to reduce sensitivity and replace missing gum tissue where your gums have receded.
If gum disease has affected the bone surrounding your tooth, a bone graft can be carried out. A bone graft procedure replaces the missing/affected bone with new, healthy bone from another part of your body (usually from the chin, lower jaw, or hip), or using synthetic materials. It helps avoid tooth loss and provides the required bone density for implants.
Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
Gum disease is easily preventable with the proper preventative measures. Our dentists at Warrnambool Smile Dental will educate you on these preventive measures when you come in for regular check-ups or gum disease treatment. Here’s how you can prevent gum disease:
Brush your teeth twice daily (using a soft-bristled toothbrush) and floss once daily
Visit your dentist for dental check-ups and cleaning every 6 months
Avoid sugary foods and drinks and eat a healthy, balanced diet
Avoid smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol
Drink plenty of water to wash away food particles and bacteria lingering in your mouth
Use an antimicrobial mouthwash to help control bacteria
Why Is Gum Health Important?
Gum health is important for both your oral and overall health. In addition to causing dental problems, gum disease is also linked to other health problems. There is growing evidence to suggest links between gum disease and poor oral health to health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, strokes, lung conditions and oral cancer. Therefore, if you wish to reduce your risk of such conditions, maintaining gum health may be an important factor.
Why Choose Warrnambool Smile Dental For Gum Treatment?
Our team at Warrnambool Smile Dental have years of experience treating patients with gum disease. Regardless of what stage of gum disease you have reached, our skilled dentists will do everything possible to treat and prevent further damage to your smile from gum disease.
Furthermore, our dentists are up-to-date with the latest techniques, research and developments in gum disease treatment. We then combine this knowledge together with advanced technology and facilities to ensure top-notch dental care for all our patients.