Your gums are the structures responsible for supporting your teeth. Therefore, healthy gums are an essential part of good oral health.
When plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, it can result in the onset of gum disease. There are stages of gum disease, and like all dental problems, when caught in the earlier stages, it is easier to treat. In severe cases, gum disease can lead to serious health problems and tooth loss.
Maintaining a good oral hygiene regime at home and having regular dental check-ups is key to preventing gum disease.
In most cases, gum disease is a result of poor oral hygiene. However, some factors can put you at greater risk of developing gum disease. These factors include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or using tobacco products
- Hormonal changes (pregnancy and menopause)
- Poor nutrition
- Some medications (especially those that cause dry mouth)
- Immunity disorders
- Diseases including diabetes, arthritis and Crohn’s disease
Signs of Gum Disease
It is possible and very common to have gum disease with no symptoms which is why it’s important to have a dentist monitor your oral health through regular check-ups. Below are some of the signs that may indicate that you have gum disease or poor gum health:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Gums that bleed easily (i.e. when brushing or flossing)
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Pain when chewing or other pressure
- Tooth sensitivity
- A change in your bite
- Bad breath
Our dentists may recommend teeth scaling and root planing if your mouth is showing signs of gum disease. This procedure can help put a stop to the negative effects of gum disease and improve your oral health.
This form of gum treatment can be thought of as a deep clean for your teeth and gums. It usually only takes one appointment to carry out and is the ideal boost for your oral health.
Our gentle oral health therapists will explain the procedure to you in detail before commencing. Generally, they will start with teeth scaling which involves removing any plaque from your teeth and any large pockets that have formed between your gums and teeth.
The next step is the planing which involves smoothing the rough areas on the surfaces of your tooth’s roots. A smooth surface helps prevent bacteria from getting stuck beneath your gum line again. It also encourages the healing process, allowing your gums to firmly reattach themselves to your teeth.