Gum Disease, Receding Gums and More
Gum disease has the medical term periodontitis. It is a very serious problem and can cause many significant dental complications such as receding gums. Most worryingly, gum disease will lead to the loss of teeth.
A misleading term, as the disease is not actually a disease of the gums, but the bone underlying the gums. Bugs and bacteria reside in the mouth, and if left to linger will cause the gums to become inflamed (gingivitis). The inflamed gums are difficult to clean and harbour more bacteria in little pockets between the teeth and the gums. Bacteria love to live and breed in these pockets and as a result of this, they begin to destroy the bone surrounding the teeth. This (alveolar) bone supports the teeth, and as a result of the bone being destroyed, the teeth become loose and ultimately need to be removed.
What are the signs and symptoms of periodontitis (Gum Disease)?
- Receding gums
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- A change in the way your teeth come together
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
- Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums
If you are suffering from any of the above signs or symptoms, don't delay in seeking care. Contact Rock House Dental Practice for an assessment.
Who is at risk of Periodontitis?
There are lots of risk groups. Patients over the age of 40 are a significant risk group. Patients with a reduced immune response such as diabetics often suffer from periodontitis. However, the two major risk groups are smokers and patients that do not visit the dentist regularly.
Periodontitis is not reversible
There is no cure for periodontal disease. It is a lifelong condition, like diabetes. Management of periodontitis is possible, but no (reliable) technique to replace the bone that has been lost exists. For this reason, gum disease must be identified and treated as early as possible.
Receding Gums - Getting long in the tooth
"Getting long in the tooth" is used to describe someone that is advancing in age. This is actually a reflection of the fact that their gums have shrunk away due to gum disease consequently making their teeth appear longer!
The treatment of gum disease can be complex. Firstly, we will identify risk factors and attempt to remove them. Secondly, we will make sure you are cleaning effectively. Thirdly, we will clean the root surfaces of the teeth in order to make them as bacteria free as possible. If you have any loose or wobbly teeth, they will require removal. In advanced cases, we will need to refer you to a specialist periodontist. You will require regular maintenance and reassessment in the hope that your condition does not worsen.