How to prevent gum disease

Posted on September 11th, 2018

Gum disease is largely responsible for many people losing their teeth too soon!
Did you know that almost 80% of grown up people in the US are estimated to be suffering from some form of periodontal (gum) disease!

The cause of gum disease

Gum disease is usually caused by a build-up of plaque on teeth.
Also if plaque is not removed adequately by brushing and flossing, it may get hardened to form tartar.
Brushing cannot remove tartar.
Bacteria harbored in tartar can in turn cause gum disease.
Medical conditions like diabetes and habits such as smoking accelerate the progress of gum disease. Genetics also play a role in your predisposition to the disease.

The different stages of gum disease

There are two main stages of gum disease:

1. Gingivitis
2. Periodontitis

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is early gum disease and characteristic signs are:

Bleeding gums when you brush
Redness and swelling of gum margins
Bad breath
Black/brown spots between the teeth

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is an advanced gum disease that may occur if gingivitis is not treated. The gum margin – the part of the gum that seals the tooth – is weakened and spaces form between the teeth and the gum. These spaces are called “periodontal pockets”. Bacteria from plaque and tartar become trapped in these pockets causing further inflammation and the further destruction of gums, bones and connective tissue. The pockets get deeper and eventually teeth become loose and need to be removed.

Cleaning teeth can help prevent gum disease

You should clean your teeth carefully every day with a soft, small-headed toothbrush and especially along the gumline where the gum meets the teeth. This ensures all tissues remain healthy. The careful use of dental floss between teeth is also essential for the removal of plaque and therefore the health of gums.

While it is tempting to avoid cleaning your gums when they are inflamed and bleeding, brushing and flossing will actually help improve the situation.

Seek dental professional care!

Here at our practice, we are dedicated to showing you all the best home cleaning techniques appropriate for your needs. Gum disease is often painless and regular check-ups will ensure its early detection and treatment and therefore the longevity of your teeth.

Treatment

Deep Cleaning vs. Superficial Cleaning

To treat gum disease appropriately, Deep cleaning rather than a superficial quick clean, is often required. This involves the removal of plaque and tartar from the root surface around the gum line and well into the spaces (pockets) between the gum and the teeth.

Dr Sawaya ensures a thorough clean as that is essential for the resolution of the disease.

Deep cleaning may be time consuming and/or uncomfortable. It is therefore necessary to do it sometimes in sections and under local anaesthetic. Following this, Dr Sawaya always finds significant improvements in your gums’ health. 6 monthly maintenance cleans are recommended and these tend to be a lot easier as long as the appropriate home cleaning techniques were applied.

Dr Sawaya highly recommends Deep cleaning as this will prevent the loss of your precious teeth and avoid you costly visits to a specialist where surgery may also often be required!

Dr Sawaya is looking forward to be of assistance in ensuring long term tooth and gum health!