WHAT IS GUM DISEASE?
Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.
WHAT IS GINGIVITIS?
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning.
WHAT IS PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms to watch out for are:
- Gums that have receded (part of the root can be seen)
- Persistent bleeding or bleeding during brushing
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Permanent teeth that are loose or are changing position
- Spaces between your teeth which were not there before
WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF GUM DISEASE?
Nearly all gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day. Many of the bacteria in plaque are completely harmless, but there are some that have been shown to cause gum disease. To prevent and treat gum disease, you need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day. This is done by brushing and flossing.
WHAT HAPPENS IF GUM DISEASE IS NOT TREATED?
Unfortunately, gum disease progresses painlessly, on the whole so that you do not notice the damage it is doing. However, the bacteria is sometimes more active, and this makes your gums sore. This can lead to gum abscesses, and pus may ooze from around the teeth. Over a number of years, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost. If the disease is left untreated for a long time, treatment can become more difficult and in some cases hopeless.
WHAT TREATMENT ARE NEEDED?
Your dentist will usually give your teeth a thorough clean. You’ll also be shown how to remove plaque successfully yourself, cleaning all the surfaces of your teeth thoroughly and effectively.
IS IT LINKED TO OTHER DISEASES?
Researchers around the world have found strong links with a number of systemic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer’s, and pre-term births. Each day, new evidence is emerging. This is logical; the mouth is very vascular and provides an excellent means for bacteria to gain access to the blood supply.
AM I LIKELY TO SUFFER FROM GUM DISEASE?
Most people, 90% suffer from some form of gum disease, and it is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. However, it can be prevented or if you already have it, the disease develops very slowly in most cases, and it can be slowed down to a rate that should allow you to keep your teeth.
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE GUM DISEASE?
The first thing to do is visit your dentist for a thorough check-up of your teeth and gums. The dentist can measure the ‘cuff’ of gum around each tooth to see if there is any sign that periodontal disease has started. X-rays may also be needed to see the amount of bone that has been lost. This assessment is very important so the correct treatment can be provided for you.
Scaling, as it is technically known, is a conservative and many times, a very effective form of treatment for gum disease. Especially in the early stages of gum disease, scaling with polishing may be all that is needed to get the disease under control.
Scaling is the removal of calculus (tartar) and plaque from the tooth. Gum disease is particularly a problem when the calculus (tartar) gets below the gum on the root surface where you can no longer clean it. It becomes a heaven for pathogens which are harmful. Special ultrasonic scaler is used to initially break down the hard calculus. Then, is the problem is not severe, the treatment will be finishet with polishing of the teeth surfaces.
In case that the gum disease is more progresive and calculus with pathogens are formed more deeply under your gums than, special hand-held instruments like scalers and curettes need to be used. Bacteria is more likely to stick to the rough surfaces (the root). The root surface is cleaned in a process called root debridement (root planning). This helps removes any remaining calculus or “contaminated” cementum on the root and leaves the surface less susceptible to the bacteria. If you have gingivitis or periodontitis that is localized to one part of your mouth, scaling and root debridement can be done in just that area. However, if you have a more generalized form of periodontitis spreading throughout your mouth, your dentist typically will do a quarter (a quadrant) or half of the mouth at one time.
GUM GRAFT SURGERY
A gum graft is a type of dental surgery performed to correct the effects of gum disease which has led to the gums recession. Gum recession occurs when gum tissue wears away, exposing more of the tooth at the root. This may cause increased sensitivity, especially when eating or drinking hot or cold foods. Because gum recession tends to happen slowly, many people do not realize it is happening to them. If left untreated, gum recession could eventually lead to tooth loss
It is a quick and relatively simple surgery in which a periodontist removes healthy gum tissue from the roof of the mouth and uses it to build the gum back up where it has receded. People getting gum grafts will be able to go home right away after the procedure. There is a variety of gum grafts available, and the type of surgery undertaken depends on the extent and severity of damage and a person’s individual needs.
A periodontist will discuss the different types of surgery available with the person to decide which option is the most suitable. The doctor will also discuss all the aftercare instructions to ensure the graft heals successfully.
What causes dark gums?
Gingival hyper-pigmentation is the technical term for “dark gums”. Dark gums are known to receive treatment for aesthetic and cosmetic purposes only, as they have never indicated the presence of a health issue of any kind.
Dark gums are simply linked to one of a few harmless factors. Some of these factors are simply the result of various possible factors, some of which include a person’s cultural and ethnic background, gum pigment imbalance, or temporary discoloration due to excessive tobacco use.
What is Gum Depigmentation?
Gum Depigmentation is a gum lightening procedure that gently utilizes a laser to lighten the color of the gums. Patients who present dark sports and/or dark areas of gums are welcome to come in for the Gum Depigmentation procedure. Depending on how light the patient would like their gums to become, the gums can go from a very dark brown hue to a very vibrant pink hue in a matter of one procedure. Re-visits are encouraged if the color of the gums has not reached the desired pigmentation.
How Does Gum Depigmentation Work?
Gum Depigmentation is a very simple, quick and painless procedure. The laser traces over the dark pigment, essentially removing the dark layer of gums from the gum’s surface until the desired shade is reached. The Gum Depigmentation procedure can be performed on a small spot or on an entire surface area of the gums. Requiring little to no recovery time, this procedure leaves our patients with lighter, brighter gums and a glowing smile.