Managing gum disease in its early stages is very important because if it is allowed to progress, it develops into periodontitis which is irreversible. Even if you are doing your best to brush and floss twice a day, you also need regular visits to your dentist, who will remove all traces of plaque and tartar from your teeth and look out for the early stages of periodontal disease. Let’s take a closer look at how to get rid of gum disease before it progresses.
What Is Gum Disease?
Also known as gingivitis, gum disease is an infection of your gums that starts along the gum line. Its earliest signs include bleeding while you brush or floss, and swollen tender gums however many people have gingivitis but are asymptomatic or may not notice the earliest signs.
If you do notice bleeding or swelling it’s important not to stop brushing or flossing as you need to clear the infection before it progresses. The infection has been caused by bacteria and plaque, which need to be removed. If you do not notice an improvement in a day or two, please contact your dentist.
What Is Periodontitis?
When gum disease is not treated and the infection spreads, it becomes a more aggressive and advanced disease that cannot be reversed. Periodontitis occurs when the support structures that anchor your teeth are infected. Your body responds with inflammation. The structure that covers your tooth roots, the bone and the fibres that attach your teeth to your bone become inflamed and infected.
The result of this is the development of spaces or pockets between your gums and tooth roots. Once you have developed periodontal pockets, they tend to trap more bacteria, which causes a worsening infection. If you do not get treatment for periodontitis, your teeth will loosen and over time, may fall out.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Periodontitis?
The symptoms of periodontitis are the same as for gingivitis, along with
- Persistent bad breath or a bad taste on your mouth
- Receding or shrinking gums (or teeth that appear larger)
- Loose or lost teeth
How To Get Rid Of Gum Disease?
It’s important that you know how to get rid of gum disease before it progresses to periodontitis.
Gum disease needs to be treated in order for it not to progress. You can avoid gingivitis by brushing and flossing twice a day. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, as it can harbour lots of bacteria. Because you can’t see what goes on in the back of your mouth or below your gum line it is imperative that you go for regular dental checkups and professional cleaning every six months. Your dentist will spot the early signs of gum disease during checkups or x-rays.
Your toothbrush should do a good job at removing plaque on a daily basis but it can accumulate in those hard to reach places, where it may form into tartar if it is not removed. Your dentist will remove all plaque and tartar build-up from between your teeth and along your gum line to prevent infections.
The same is true if you wear dentures. It’s very easy for plaque to build up on dentures as well as your remaining natural teeth.
If you do suffer chronic health conditions like diabetes you must make sure that you take your medication. If your blood sugar levels are not controlled, it can increase your risk of periodontal disease.
Pregnant women are at an increased risk of periodontal disease due to the hormonal fluctuations that their bodies go through. It’s very important to have dental checkups during your pregnancy to ensure this doesn’t happen.
It’s never too late to quit smoking. Using tobacco products also increases your risk of periodontal disease, as well as interferes with your body’s ability to heal itself.
Your dentist will take an x-ray to see how deep the infection is. If you have periodontitis, your dentist will need to deep clean your gums using special instrumentation that goes below the gum line, in order to remove tartar buildup. The process of removing tartar from below the gum line and out of periodontal pockets is called scaling. If your dentist needs to smooth your tooth roots out, the process is known as planing. This can help the tooth roots to reattach to your teeth.
Gingivitis can be cured if it is treated in time, and it can be reversed. While periodontitis cannot be cured, with intervention it can be stopped in its tracks to stop it from infecting your teeth and bone structures.
Complications And Side Effects Of Periodontal Disease
In addition to compromising your teeth and the other structures in your mouth, periodontal disease is also associated with other health conditions such as
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Respiratory disease
- Heart disease (atherosclerosis)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Preterm or low birth weight babies if the woman is pregnant.
Knowing the symptoms and how to get rid of gum disease early on can save you from dental complications in the future. If you have sore or bleeding gums it’s best to speak to a professional. Please contact us for an appointment:
Phone: (02) 9158 6213
Pyrmont NSW 2009
Phone: (02) 9158 6756
Illawong, NSW 2234
Phone: (02) 9159 6083
Sylvania Waters NSW 2224