Gum Disease Treatment
Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease is primarily caused by the accumulation of plaque, a sticky bacterial film that forms on the teeth and gums. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar, which cannot be removed by brushing alone. The presence of this bacteria in plaque and tartar results in inflammation of the gums and supporting bone, resulting in their destruction. Conditions such as diabetes and habits such as smoking also increases the risk of one developing gum disease.
There are 2 main types of gum disease:
- Gingivitis: This is the milder form of gum disease that causes redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. Gingivitis can usually be treated and reversed with improved oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing regularly, and getting professional dental cleanings.
- Periodontitis: This is the more advanced form of gum disease that occurs when gingivitis is left untreated. Periodontitis causes bone loss and the gums to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that can develop into abscesses and become infected. Over time, teeth can become shaky resulting in changes in bite, difficulty eating and eventual tooth loss.
What Treatment is Available for Gum Disease?
Gum treatments aim to stop the progression of gum disease and prevent further damage to the gums and teeth. The specific type of treatment you receive will depend on the severity of your gum condition instead. The two most common types of gum treatments in Singapore that your dentist might suggest are:
- Scaling and Root Debridement: This is a non-surgical procedure that involves deep cleaning of the teeth and gums to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the surface of the teeth and below the gum line.
- Periodontal Surgery: Where gum disease is severe and cannot be effectively treated with scaling and root debridement alone, periodontal surgery may be required. Periodontal surgery can help to reduce the depth of your periodontal pockets, regenerate lost gum and bone (periodontal regeneration), or to recontour the bone around the teeth to facilitate cleaning.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. The primary reason for gum disease is the presence of plaque or tartar which causes inflammation of the gums and supporting structures. Many in Singapore may attribute gum disease to “heatiness” which causes inflammation. While reducing “heatiness” may reduce inflammation according to TCM concepts, it will not eradicate gum disease. Without doubt, diet and lifestyle habits play a role in influencing oral health. However, in order to control gum disease, it is imperative that the plaque and tartar on the tooth surfaces are removed through good oral hygiene practices and professional gum treatment.
Common signs of gum disease include red, swollen, or bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, receding gums, loose teeth, or changes in your bite. A dental professional can evaluate your oral health and determine if gum treatment is necessary.
Gum treatment should not be painful. Local anaesthesia is usually given during the gum treatment procedure. After the procedure, you may experience some mild soreness or sensitivity, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers if necessary.
Gum treatment is only part of the equation in treating gum disease. Ensuring good oral hygiene, healthy lifestyle habits and attending the dentist regularly for dental check ups and cleaning are crucial in controlling gum disease and preventing relapse following treatment.