What’s the Best Treatment for Gum Disease?

What’s the Best Treatment for Gum Disease?

Gum Disease

Written By: Samana Agha | 08 February 2024

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease often remains unnoticed until its consequences become severe. This chronic inflammatory condition, affecting the tissues surrounding your teeth, starts subtly with red, swollen gums, but if left unchecked, can progress to deteriorate your oral health, leading to bone loss and even tooth loss.
Understanding gum disease, its progression, and the treatment options available empowers you to take charge of your oral health and prevent its detrimental effects. In this blog, we are going to talk about everything related to gum disease.

The Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease doesn’t announce its arrival with flashing lights and sirens. It progresses through distinct stages, each with its own set of signs and symptoms:
  1. 1. Gingivitis: This is the initial, reversible stage characterised by inflamed, red, and bleeding gums. Brushing and flossing diligently alongside professional dental cleanings can reverse gingivitis.
  1. 2. Early Periodontitis: If gingivitis goes untreated, it escalates to early periodontitis. The inflammation deepens, affecting the underlying bone supporting your teeth. Pockets form between the teeth and gums, harbouring bacteria. Loose teeth might become noticeable.
  1. 3. Moderate Periodontitis: As the disease progresses, deeper pockets develop, bone loss accelerates, and more teeth become loose. Pus might ooze from the pockets, and chewing can become uncomfortable.
  1. 4. Advanced Periodontitis: In this severe stage, significant bone loss has occurred, jeopardising the survival of teeth. Shifting teeth, deep pockets, and visible gum recession become evident.

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

While the primary culprit of gum disease is plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that accumulates on teeth, several other factors contribute to its development:
  1. 1. Poor oral hygiene: Skipping brushing and flossing allows plaque to build up, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
  1. 2. Smoking: Smoking weakens the immune system’s ability to fight infection and hinders gum tissue healing.
  1. 3. Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions like diabetes can exacerbate gum disease.
  1. 4. Genetics: Some individuals are genetically predisposed to gum disease.
  1. 5. Hormonal changes: Pregnancy and menopause can increase susceptibility to gum disease.

The Impact of Gum Disease

Gum disease isn’t just a localised oral health issue. Research suggests a link between gum disease and various health problems, including:
  1. 1. Heart disease: The inflammatory markers associated with gum disease might contribute to heart disease development.
  1. 2. Stroke: Similar to heart disease, the inflammation triggered by gum disease might elevate stroke risk.
  1. 3. Diabetes: Gum disease can worsen blood sugar control in diabetics, while poorly controlled diabetes can aggravate gum disease.
  1. 4. Respiratory problems: Studies suggest a link between gum disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  1. 5. Rheumatoid arthritis: Gum disease might worsen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Gum Disease Treatment

The good news is that gum disease treatment options are now readily available. The earlier gum disease is addressed, the better the prognosis. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the disease and your individual needs:

Non-surgical treatments:

  1. 1. Improved oral hygiene: Brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash are crucial for removing plaque and bacteria.
  1. 2. Scaling and root planing: This professional cleaning procedure removes plaque and tartar buildup from above and below the gumline.
  1. 3. Antibiotics: In some cases, your dentist might prescribe antibiotics to control bacterial infections.

Surgical treatments:

  1. 1. Flap surgery: This procedure involves lifting back the gum tissue to clean deeper areas and remove infected tissue.
  1. 2. Bone grafting: If bone loss has occurred, bone grafting procedures can help regenerate bone tissue and support your teeth.
  1. 3. Tissue regeneration procedures: These techniques aim to stimulate the growth of new gum and bone tissue around your teeth.

How to prevent gum disease?

Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is the cornerstone of gum disease prevention. Brushing twice daily for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash can significantly reduce plaque and bacteria buildup. Regular dental checkups and professional cleanings are equally important for early detection and intervention. Additionally, quitting smoking, managing chronic health conditions, and maintaining a healthy diet can further decrease your risk of gum disease.
Gum disease is a stealthy adversary, but by understanding its progression, risk factors, and wider health implications, you can empower yourself to take charge of your oral health. Consistent oral hygiene practices, regular dental visits, and early intervention are your weapons in this fight. Apex Dental Clinics has skilled dentists who are experienced in diagnosing and treating gum diseases and other oral health issues.