Gum Disease – Prevention and Treatment

How our Wickford dentists help you to have healthy gums.

Although most people associate dentists with tooth care; equally important is the health of our patient’s gums. With gum disease now being widely recognised as one of the biggest causes of tooth loss in the UK, it is now a priority to ensure that patients of the Cygnet Dental Practice keep their gums in good condition and receive appropriate treatment where necessary.

What can happen?

Whilst early stage gum disease often manifests in problems such as sore or bleeding gums, if neglected at this stage and allowed to advance, the situation becomes more serious as the bacteria that causes gum disease starts to eat away at the bone that surrounds our teeth. Once this occurs, the tooth can become loose and eventually come out.

Prevention

The good news for our Wickford patients is that gum disease is relatively straightforward to prevent. It starts to occur as the bacteria in our mouth feeds off the sugars in the foods that we consume. Essentially, failing to remove these will cause the number of bacteria to multiply and become out of control. Therefore, the easiest way to avoid problems with gum disease is to ensure that you clean your teeth well. This involves regular brushing of the teeth, using a toothbrush that is not more than three months old, and using a fluoride toothpaste to help protect the enamel of the teeth.

Although 80% of people do not floss their teeth, this is an important addition to your cleaning regimen and will help to remove the bacteria from between the teeth. It is often in these areas that we detect gum problems. The hygienists at the Cygnet Dental Practice are always happy to show you how to do this correctly and discuss alternative methods such as interdental sticks.

Treatment

If the dentist, or hygienist, at our Wickford dental practice detects signs of gum disease during your six monthly examinations, there are three possible treatment routes which may be taken.

  1. Improvement in cleaning – Where only minimal gum disease is present, it is often quite straightforward to reverse it through improving the cleaning regime. Suggestions such as your brushing technique and/or the addition of flossing may be suggested.
  2. Scale and polish – Where the bacteria has hardened on the teeth (plaque), the teeth may need to be professionally cleaned. This is a straightforward procedure and is not uncomfortable.
  3. ‘Deep clean’ – Where the hardened bacteria has become more advanced and has reached below the gumline, possibly onto the bone; it may be necessary to clean deep below the gum line. Depending on its severity, this procedure can be more uncomfortable and a local anaesthetic may be used.

If your gums are bleeding or are red or sore, you may well already have gum disease. Rather than leaving it until your next appointment, prompt action is advisable and we can be contacted by calling the Cygnet Dental Practice on 01268 733078.