Gum Disease | Periodontal Disease
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Gum Disease | Periodontal Disease: FAQs
What is gum disease?
The proper dental name for “gum disease” is periodontal disease. It is essentially a disease of gums and jaw bone which help to support and protect the teeth. In a healthy mouth, the teeth and gums are strong and clean. When the patient has gum disease the foundation surrounding the teeth becomes weak and if left untreated the teeth can eventually become loose.
There are mild and advance forms of gum disease and the severity is dependent on lifestyle and individual risk factors.
The majority of the population have gum disease. Your dentist will check this during routine inspection and advise you of appropriate treatment.
What is plaque and tartar (calculus)?
Plaque is the soft mushy substance that builds up every day on our teeth. Plaque contains bad bacteria, dead cells and food debris. The reason we brush and floss is to get rid of plaque as accumulation of this leads to bad breath and an unhealthy mouth.
When plaque is not effectively removed, it turns into stone. This is called tartar or calculus. The only way to remove tartar is to have professional dental cleaning.
What are the main risk factors to gum disease?
Family history of tooth loss
Poor medical health
Poor oral health
How will I know if I have gum disease?
Symptoms that are indicative of gums disease include:
Swollen or bleeding gums
Teeth drifting apart
A smell from the mouth
No symptoms at all. It is possible you will not be aware of any problems until the final stage of gum disease- when tooth loss is inevitable.
Your dentist is the expert and will diagnose gum problems at your check up. You may have noticed at your examination that your dentist is probing your gums: he is merely assessing the extent of the problem in your mouth. Healthy gums do not bleed.
How do I treat gum disease?
You can keep your mouth healthy and the gum disease under control by maintaining a high standard of oral hygiene. It is difficult to completely eradicate gum disease as the plaque and tartar constantly build up around your teeth and gums. You should:
Attend for regular check-ups and cleaning as advised by your dental professional.
Brush your teeth twice a day (at least) for 2-3 minutes with a soft toothbrush.
Clean in-between your teeth with floss.
Cut down on smoking.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
High risk patients are recommended to return for gum treatment frequently (3 monthly). This will aid to keep the gum disease at bay.
Is there medicine available to cure gum disease?
There are many products available on the market that claim to eradicate gum disease. Whilst these products may only be suitable for minor gum problems, the starting point to curing any gum disease is by visiting the dentist to get a professional assessment.
Will fixing my gum disease hurt?
Some patients may inevitably be nervous about any form of dental treatment. Your Premier Herts Dentist will tailor-make your treatment to provide painless dental care. You also have the option to be sedated at our clinic.
What am I to expect after gum disease treatment?
Less bleeding and swollen gums
I think I have gum disease. What do I do?
Don’t delay. Book to see us so that we can sort out your dental problems.
How much does it cost to treat the gum disease?
A regular hygienic scale and polish costs £45.00 (you will need a new patient Oral Health Assessment first).
If you have not been to the dentist for a while you may need more than a scale and polish to control your gum disease. Each case has to be judged on its merits. For advance cases, an estimate will be given at the time of examination.
Simple clean: £45-65
Bicarbonate clean: £65
Deep clean: £150-200
Advanced gum care: £400-£1000
What if I do nothing and hope my gum disease will just go away?
Gum disease will not go away. Mouthwash is a temporary solution and untreated gum disease may lead to tooth loss.
Gum disease also “eats” away the supporting structure of your teeth, especially causing shrinkage of your jawbone. It may be difficult for you to have dentures or implants in the future.
Professional experience has shown that people who attend regularly have minimal problems. In our practice, we have 90+ year old patients who still have their own natural teeth!
What if my gum disease is too far gone?
The majority of gum problems can be treated at our practice. There are a minority of patients who do not respond to conventional treatment and for this matter they need to be referred to a specialist.
If you have missing teeth, we have a range of fantastic fixed replacement options.