What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by an excess of plaque-causing bacteria in your mouth. It develops in two stages:
If it is left to develop, it could have broader implications for your overall health. Periodontal disease is associated with
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Who Gets Gum Disease?
Your risk for periodontal disease may be higher if you
- Are a smoker
- Have diabetes
- Are under stress
- Take drugs
- Have poor nutrition
- Are pregnant
In its earliest stage, periodontal disease affects the gums that surround your teeth. You might notice red or swollen gums, or a bit of bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. You might have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth after brushing.
How To Get Rid Of Gum Disease In Its Earliest Stage?
At this stage, periodontal disease can be reversed so you must continue to brush and floss. If you don’t notice an improvement in the condition of your gums in a few days, consult your dentist.
When the infection goes deeper into your gum and affects the periodontium, it compromises the structures that hold your teeth and gums together. This includes the fibres and underlying bone below the gum tissue.
You may notice red, bleeding gums, a bad taste or bad breath. By this stage, you might notice your gums shrinking back or your teeth appearing longer.
As periodontitis progresses, it can cause spaces or periodontal pockets to open up. As the pockets get bigger, they trap more bacteria that cause damage to the periodontium. If periodontitis is not treated, it can cause your teeth to get looser and eventually fall out.
How To Get Rid Of Gum Disease In Its Later Stages?
Your dentist will take an x-ray to see how deep the infection goes. Sometimes an antibiotic may be prescribed, to help to fight the infection, and to complement the treatments your dentist is performing.
While periodontitis can’t be cured, it can be controlled so that it doesn’t progress further. To do this, your dentist will recommend tooth scaling and planing, which is the process where your tooth roots are cleaned of bacteria and debris.
Your dentist will then smooth and straighten your tooth roots out so that they can’t trap any more bacteria. Depending on the extent of your periodontal disease, you may need to return for multiple treatments to clean the roots of your teeth. When they are straight and smooth, your roots should reattach to your teeth. The procedure is quite uncomfortable and can be avoided if you have early treatment.
You will need to pay extra attention to your oral hygiene to keep the condition under control. Your dentist might even recommend that you brush after every meal to manage bacteria levels in your mouth. It’s essential that you follow all the advice you are given, to stop it from progressing into tooth loss.
If you have periodontal pockets, your dentist may recommend you use a water flosser or oral irrigator to keep them clean and bacteria-free. Because periodontal pockets trap bacteria inside them, they need to be flushed out regularly to prevent reinfection.
How To Prevent Gum Disease?
Prevention is always better than cure. To keep your teeth and gums healthy you should
- Brush and floss twice a day, every day. If you have had gum disease, it’s a good idea to rinse with antibacterial mouthwash too.
- Visit your dentist twice a year so the condition of your gums can be examined. If there is an infection, your dentist can treat it straight away.
- Avoid smoking as this increases your risk.
- Eat healthy, wholesome foods and reduce your intake of sugary foods and beverages
If you still have questions about how to get rid of gum disease, it’s best to consult with a professional. Remember that early treatment is better than cure, and the sooner you address it, the easier it is to treat. Please call us for an appointment: (02) 9158 6379.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.