Normal gums are pink in colour and have a sharp outline.
Gum disease is often silent, meaning it doesn’t cause severe alarming pain, and symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease.
Almost 90% of the population above the age of 40 has some form of gum disease, making it the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
WARNING SIGNS ARE:
EARLY SIGNS – Gingivitis (Reversible)
Plaque buildup around the teeth and gums – plaque is a soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth and contains millions of bacteria. Plaque is nothing but food particles mixed with saliva, that should have been removed by brushing, but got left behind. The bacteria in plaque cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Bleeding – bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food.
Redness and Swelling – in the gums.
Watch for these early signs of gum disease and contact your dentist right away if they appear. A check-up can give you peace of mind and allow your dentist to watch the status of early gum disease.
This can be reversible with professional treatment and maintaining good oral home care.
What happens if gingivitis is not treated?
If not treated, it will lead to advance irreversible loss, know as Periodontitis.
ADVANCED SIGNS – Periodontitis (Ir-reversible)
- Calculus Formation- If the plaque coating is allowed to remain on the teeth, it slowly hardens to form a hard coating called calculus.
- Pocket Formation – The plaque can begin to move below the gums and cause spaces between the gums and teeth, known as a pocket. Dentist use tiny ruler called a “probe” to check for and measure any pockets. In a healthy mouth, the depth of these pockets is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters. This test for pocket depth is usually painless.
Recession –Receding gums or longer appearing teeth.
Bone loss – bone loss and space between the teeth
- Tooth Mobility-The tooth will eventually loosen.
What are the risk factors?
It is important to understand that risk factors don’t cause gum disease; they increase the likelihood that it will occur.
All risk factors are not created equal. Diabetes and smoking are the biggest risk factors for periodontal disease, increasing the occurrence, severity, and speed of onset and progression.
Did you know that gum disease isn’t just bad news for your teeth; it’s also linked to serious health problems in other parts of your body?
Gum disease may increase your risk of all kinds of other health complications, including stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Gum disease has even been linked with problems in pregnancy.
The only way to prevent plaque build-up is to brush it away twice a day. Brushing before bed is very important as it keeps the mouth clean during the entire time we are asleep.
Floss between teeth. This helps to remove food caught between the teeth, where the brush cannot reach.
Eat a balanced diet, rich in fiber, along with fresh fruit and vegetables.
Reduce the number of times you eat. Snacking frequently increases your chances of having tooth decay.
Go for regular dental check-ups. Gum disease can be detected in its early stages.
An Early stage of gum disease (gingivitis) is completely reversible. Professional cleaning will remove the collection of plaque. You have to learn home care and maintain your teeth as instructed by your dentist.
Advanced gum disease (periodontitis) can be treated with laser, without surgery, or may require surgery to help save your teeth. Again, home care and maintenance are the keys to keep your teeth for a lifetime.
How is Laser helpful to treat gum disease?
Laser treatment is a conservative non-surgical treatment for periodontal disease.
The FDA-approved laser gum disease treatment uses a tiny laser fiber (about the thickness of three hairs) that is inserted between the tooth and gum. The laser zaps away only bacteria and infected tissue with much less discomfort compared to standard procedures.
We will firstly use a procedure called scaling and root planning to remove any debris and calcified deposits around each tooth. This is done after the gums have been numbed with a special topical anesthetic gel that is placed around your teeth to make the procedure painless.
The second stage is using a Laser, to selectively remove diseased or infected tissue that line the pockets around your teeth. At the same time, the Laser will kill the bacteria that cause the gum disease and promote healing of the gums. The Laser can also increase circulation and collagen formation at the bottom of the periodontal pockets.
Why a Laser?
It gives the dentist precise control and the patient a more comfortable procedure.
What about pain?
One of the biggest advantages of Laser therapy is the fact that many times, procedures can be performed with much less discomfort and postoperative pain than with conventional methods.
This is due to the Lasers ability to seal off the blood vessels. Most procedures can be done with topical anesthetic only.
Laser gum disease treatment that offers the following appealing advantages for patients with gum disease:
There’s no cutting and no suturing with the laser treatment
Less bleeding and no injection (local anesthesia)
There’s much less discomfort after the procedure with the laser treatment than with standard surgery
Laser treatment takes less time than traditional surgery—generally, two 1-hour visits to your periodontist and two follow-up visits.
MDS (PERIODONTICS, MASTERSHIP IN PERIOPLASTIC SURGERY(SWITZERLAND),DIPLOMATE IN LASER(GERMANY)
PERIODONTIST, LASER DENTIST