Gum Disease treatment in London
Gum Disease or Periodontitis is a leading cause of tooth loss for adults and can be easily prevented. If you have bleeding gums, receding gums, soreness when you brush or loose teeth, this could be sign of gum disease.
Please find below more information about the causes of gum disease, and how we treat gum disease here at Periodontist London.
Gum disease is when the bone around your teeth dissolves away. The bone is the foundation of your tooth, and so the more bone you loose, the more likely it is your tooth will fall out.
The bone loss around your teeth may be irreversible, and therefore we aim to prevent bone loss before it is too late to save your teeth.
Gum disease is measured by assessing the depth of the ‘pocket’ around your tooth. A pocket is a narrow space between the gum and the tooth which is usually up to 3mm deep in health. We will also assess the bleeding around your gums, gum recession, your bite to name a few parts of our extensive gum examination.
As bacteria builds up around the tooth, the gum gets inflamed, and this pocket can deepen. When it deepens to 5mm in depth, the type of bacteria we find in the pocket changes.
Any pocket that is 5mm or more in depth is a pocket that needs treatment. If it is left untreated, it is likely that it will continue to deepen, and cause bone loss around the tooth and eventually tooth loss.
Dental plaque is the thin film that builds up on your teeth over the course of everyday. This plaque contains numerous bacteria. If this is not removed well through excellent brushing, it hardens to form calculus. Your gums then react to this calculus, and it can lead to the initiation of gum disease.
Smoking is one of the most significant factors in the development of gum disease. It also effects how well you will respond to gum disease treatment. It is essential to quit smoking to help reduce your risk of gum disease, as well as to give your treatment a better prognosis.
Some people are genetically more susceptible to develop gum disease. If you know that relatives have had gum disease, it is highly recommended that you and your family members have regular dental checks to diagnose and treat any arising problems early.
Some medical conditions e.g. Diabetes
Recent research has shown that gum disease can affect your overall health, and that certain health conditions including diabetes can make your gum disease worse. If you have conditions including heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and kidney disease we advise regular check-ups to maintain your oral health, and diagnose any gum problems early.
Treatment of gum disease involves two things.
1: Excellent oral hygiene
We will show you how to brush your teeth really well! Doing everything you can to reduce the number of bacteria collecting around your teeth in-between dental visits is a crucial factor in the success of your treatment, both during treatment, and in the years after treatment. We would advise you to brush using an electric toothbrush as well as inter-dental brushes such as TePe brushes. Together, we can find the correct brushes for you to ensure optimal daily cleaning.
2: Deep cleaning of the pockets
Treatment in surgery is primarily aimed at removing the bacteria you cannot remove with your toothbrush. This is either because it has hardened around your tooth above the gum (calculus), or because there are bacterial deposits underneath the gum.
Treatment in surgery normally starts by getting the affected areas in your mouth numb, and performing a thorough clean of the bacteria around your mouth over two to four appointments. In some circumstances, we may prescribe you some antibiotics alongside treatment.
This initial treatment can resolve a lot of the problem areas, and reduce pockets to below 5mm in depth. However, there are some area’s that may require further surgical therapy. Surgical gum disease therapy involves carefully lifting up the gum to effectively clean under the gum. The gum is then stitched back, sometimes in a different position, and the stiches are removed one to two weeks later. In some circumstances it may be possible to repair some of the bone loss around the teeth (Bone regeneration). If this is a possibility for you, we can discuss the options at our reassessment appointment.
Most people return back to work the next day with no complaints.
The most uncomfortable symptoms post treatment is typically the sensitivity some people experience when drinking cold drinks. Sensitive toothpastes are excellent are helping reduce this, and we can place some sensitivity reducing varnishes on the affected areas if required.
The most important thing to remember is that your gum disease can return. Therefore, how you look after your gums is very important after your treatment.
To ensure that your mouth stays healthy it is essential that you follow these steps:
1: Regular maintenance appointments with the hygienist. We recommended that you see a hygienist at least three times a year to remove the bacterial deposits from around your gums and teeth.
2: An annual review with your Periodontist to measure the pockets around your teeth.
3: Excellent brushing twice a day, with use of inter-dental aids as demonstrated by your oral health care team.
The best way to diagnose gum problems before any symptoms develop is to have regular check-ups with your periodontist or dentist. They will measure the ‘pocket’ around your teeth to identify if a problem is developing.
The first sign that the gums are in trouble can be bleeding gums when you brush. Bacteria build up around the teeth and irritate the gums. This causes them to get inflamed, and therefore bleed when touched. This irritation does not always lead to gum disease and bone loss around the tooth, however, if you are concerned, it is best to consult your Periodontist/Dentist.
Tooth Feeling Loose
As the bone around your teeth shrinks away, so does the primary support system for your tooth. With less bone to support the tooth, and an on going inflammation around the gum, the tooth can start to feel loose. Ideally, we want to treat the tooth before the tooth starts getting loose.
As the bone support lessens around your teeth, the teeth may drift or rotate. This process is usually gradual, but you may notice widening gaps between your teeth or your teeth have moved position. Ideally, we like to treat your gum disease prior to this stage; however, treatment should prevent any further movement of the teeth. If necessary, we can also look at ways to move the teeth back to their ideal position once the gums are healthy again.