Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease, periodontitis or pyorrhoea) is an infection of the underlying supporting structures of the teeth.
Periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal diseases are gum and bone infections caused by the bacteria (germs) in your mouth. These infections destroy the foundation, the gum and bone around your teeth. Periodontal diseases are painless until it is almost too late to save teeth.
If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause bad breath and swollen bleeding gums and eventually tooth loss. In fact, periodontal diseases are a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
Periodontal diseases are bacterial gum infections that destroy the attachment fibres and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth. The main cause of these diseases is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colourless film that constantly forms on your teeth.
If plaque is not removed on a daily basis it can build up on the tooth surface and turn into a hard substance called calculus. Calculus, also known as tartar, is calcified dental plaque and is considered a contributing factor in causing periodontal diseases. When plaque and calculus are not removed the bacteria in plaque produce toxins (or poisons) that can destroy the supporting tissues and bone around the teeth.
Your own immune system attacks not only these invading bacteria but also the body’s own tissues, carving deep pockets between the teeth and gums. As the diseases progress, these pockets deepen, more gum tissue and bone are destroyed and the teeth eventually become loose. If periodontal diseases are not treated, the teeth may eventually need to be removed.
The first line of defence against periodontal disease is actually prevention. This includes a good oral hygiene routine at home. Brushing at least twice a day and cleaning between teeth once a day with floss/interproximal brushes helps prevent plaque from accumulating. Depending on the severity of the disease, more in-depth oral hygiene instructions may be recommended.
Depending on how far the disease has progressed, treatment can vary widely. In the early stages of gum disease, treatment may involve scaling and root surface debridement. This means removing plaque and calculus in the pockets around the tooth and smoothing the root surfaces. Scaling and RSD helps rid the mouth of infection-causing bacteria and irritants beneath the gum line. More advanced cases may require periodontal surgical treatment. The goals of this treatment are to remove plaque bacteria and calculus from deep pockets around teeth, reduce the pockets, smooth root surfaces and arrange gum tissue into a shape that will be easier to keep clean. By doing this we are able to preserve the remaining jawbone and therefore keep the natural teeth for much longer.
Please give us a call on 01785 242583/ 07910 394043 if you require help managing your gum disease and keeping your teeth for longer.