Experts Say…

All You Need To Know About Gum Disease Treatment

The Dentist’s Guide to Root Canal Treatment​
Periodontal gum disease treatment
Gum Disease 101: Know the Enemy

How to Know
If You Have Gum Disease (Gingivitis) and
What’s Next?

SMILE CONCEPTS
12 OCT 2020

Blood in the sink, pain in your teeth. It might sound like the start of a bad rap song, but these are the first warning signs of gum disease. If you’re seeing these symptoms though, don’t panic! Things probably aren’t serious enough to need gum disease treatment just yet. For now, it’s time to properly understand what you’re dealing with, and learn how you can treat your symptoms.

Gum disease explained

Gum Disease 101: Know the Enemy

Gum disease starts as a mild infection of the gums, a problem known as gingivitis, and can develop as a result of poor nutrition, poor dental hygiene, smoking, pregnancy and puberty, stress, medication side effects and other diseases. At first, plaque and bacteria build up on your teeth and then infect your gums, causing what’s known as gingivitis.

This is fairly common in those who don’t practice proper oral hygiene and nothing to panic about. It’s completely treatable at this stage and can be treated with proper dental care and deep cleaning.

gum disease smile & symptoms

However, if left alone for too long, gingivitis can develop into what is known as periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease that infects the bone. Periodontitis rots your bone through, destroying your teeth in the process, and can have irreversible effects on the gums and bones. Depending on the progression of gum disease you’ll see different symptoms, with some being more serious than others. It’s important to keep in mind that these are just indicators of gum disease, and many of these aren’t necessarily a sure sign you’ve got gum disease. Always check with a professional before self-diagnosing. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) assures that this condition is reversible with daily brushing and flossing, as well as a professional cleaning with your dentist.

Typical Gum Disease Symptoms

  • Swollen Gums

     
    • Red, swollen and painful gums are one of the first things you’ll notice if you’re developing gum disease. It’s usually also accompanied by bleeding when you brush or floss. Proper dental care will stop it from developing, but a visit to your dentist is recommended for personalised care. 
  • Bad Breath

     
    • Don’t worry, your morning coffee breath isn’t caused by gum disease. However if what you’re smelling is far worse than normal it can be a sign of periodontitis. It means the bacteria in your gums are feeding on plaque and other parts of your gums. 
gum disease periodontis causes
red gums caused by periodontis
  • Shrunken Gums

    • While shrinking or receding gums can indicate other issues, it’s often caused by infection breaking down the bone and separating your gum from your teeth. This can look like your teeth are growing, and demands immediate care.
  • Sensitive Teeth

    • Super sensitive teeth, or at least more sensitive than usual, can be a sign of deep infection. When your gums recede it can expose the sensitive parts of your teeth, causing pain when you eat or drink cold things. 
  • Loose or Shifting Teeth

    • If your teeth are wobbling, loose or moving around, see your dentist immediately. This symptom is one of the main indicators of periodontitis and can lead to serious damage. 

Gum Disease Treatment

While gum disease is definitely cause for concern, it’s important to remember that all but the worst cases are treatable and reversible. Depending on how early you detect it, treatment can be as simple as getting professional deep teeth cleaning. If more serious, there are several different treatment options available.



  • Visit Your Dentist

     

    • The best treatment for gum disease is and will always be visiting your dentist and getting professional diagnosis and treatment. Your dentist will be able to identify the cause of the issue and provide you with appropriate gum disease treatment, whether that’s deep cleaning, scaling, antibiotics or another more involved form of treatment.
dentist cleaning gum disease
  • Deep Cleaning

    • Basic gum disease treatment involves cleaning your teeth and gums thoroughly and completely. Using special instruments your dentist will ensure that all the plaque on your teeth is removed, and then move on to cleaning your gums and even below the gum line. This is all followed up with scaling, a process that clears tartar from above and below the gum line. 

  •  

    Medication

    • If your infection is in the earlier stages and not yet completely set into your bone, medication will be able to treat and repair a fair amount of the damage. Your dentist will prescribe you antibiotics in the form of chips, a gel, or tablets. Other medications can help with treatment, but these are case by case and need professional input. Talk to your emergency dentist for more information. 

  •  

    Surgery

    • When deep cleaning isn’t enough and your infection has reached Advanced Periodontal Disease levels of damage, you may need surgery. There are several options available, each suited to a specific issue, so your dentist will let you know which one you’ll need.

      Pocket Reduction (Flap Surgery) involves folding back your gum tissue to remove infection and smooth down damaged bone to properly reattach your gums and allow them to heal correctly.

      Gum Grafts are used to cover receding gums with gum tissue taken from other parts of your mouth. This can help to prevent further degradation after the infection has been removed and can also reduce sensitivity.

      Cosmetic Dentistry may be recommended by your dentist if serious damage has been done to your teeth or gums. Gum contouring or veneers may be suggested as options to restore your teeth’s cosmetic appearance.

What Can I Do Before Visiting the Dentist? 

gum disease drink water
family brushing teeth after gum disease treatment

If you can’t see a dentist immediately, there are a few things you can do to limit the damage done and potentially put you on the road to recovery. We recommend brushing your teeth gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush twice a day, which will clear away excess plaque and limit the progress of infection. Make sure to avoid brushing the infected areas, as this will only make things worse!

A saltwater rinse may also help to reduce gum inflammation and ease the pain. Mix 1/2 to 3/4 of a teaspoon into a glass of warm water and swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out. You can repeat this 2-3 times a day if needed.

healthy lifestyle after succesful treatment of advanced periodontal disease

It’s important to remember that gum disease can affect people at any stage in life. It’s incredibly common and easily treatable as long as it’s detected early enough. If you’re worried about developing gum disease, focus on maintaining good oral health through regular teeth brushing, flossing and eating a healthy, balanced diet!

 If you think you’re developing gingivitis or periodontal gum disease, book in an appointment for a check-up with your local dentist to make sure. If you’re looking for more information on gum disease treatment or other dental health issues, call and talk to our dentists today.

More Information About Gum Disease

  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website.
  • NSW Governement Health website.
  • Dental Health Services Victoria website.
  • Contact your local dentist or get in touch with Smile Concepts specialised team.
How to Know If You Have Gum Disease

7 STAR EXPERIENCE

Unlock Your Dream Smile.

Discover The Power of A Smile

Broken Tooth? Find out how Dental Implant‘s got your back. 

Crooked Teeth? With Invisalign® you can smile with confidence within months.

What’s is Porcelain Veneers? It is where Artistry meets Functionality.

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr_Manish_Shah
Dr Manish Shah
BDS (Hons), MBBS, MMED (Sleep Med)

Dr. Manish Shah is a cometic dentist with a special interest in porcelain veneers, dental implants and Invisalign. He is also a medical doctor with an expertise in sleep & craniofacial pain medicine practising at Smile Concepts.