Checking for Gum Disease

This common but treatable problem can lead to tooth loss.

Mention gum disease and most of us will probably dismiss it unless we have experienced the bleeding gums so often mentioned in the TV adverts. Whilst bleeding gums is certainly a highly visible sign of gum disease, it is not the only one. Sore gums, receding gums, discomfort when chewing and loose teeth may also be possible signs of this pernicious problem.

Preventing gum disease

The prevention of gum disease is easier said than done, and the reality is that most of us will have it to some small degree during our lives. This is most likely to happen when we neglect our oral health regimen, perhaps when we are ill and less motivated. In many cases, our gum health will be restored once we resume cleaning and flossing our teeth, although this is not necessarily so.

The only way to ensure that your gums are healthy and problem free, is by both ensuring that you brush AND floss your teeth well on a daily basis, but also ensure that your teeth and gums are checked by one of our experienced dentists at the Confidental Clinic in Purley from time to time.

It is far from unusual for our dentists, or hygienists, to find indications of gum disease in patients who consider that they look after their teeth well. This often occurs in places such as at the rear of the back teeth where it is difficult to brush and floss.

Because these are the teeth that chew and grind our food, weaknesses in this area can lead to damage to our teeth.

Treating gum disease

There are a number of options available to treat infected gums. The initial option is given when the infection is relatively minor and simply involves explaining to the patient, how they can improve their cleaning regime. This very often involves the addition of flossing which only around one in five of us do, despite it being almost essential in preventing gum disease.

Where personal oral hygiene has failed and the bacteria has built up on the teeth and gums to form plaque, a scale and polish will be needed to remove this. This is usually done without an anaesthetic but will depend on each case. What’s more, if oral health checks at our Purley dental practice have been neglected, and gum disease has reached an advanced stage (periodontitis), it may be necessary to perform a ‘deep’ clean.

This is an invasive version of the previous scale and polish and extends underneath the gum line. and, potentially to the roots of the tooth. This will be done using a local anaesthetic.

If you have any of the signs of gum disease or simply haven’t had your mouth examined by a dentist for some time, please call the Confidental Clinic today on 020 8660 8923 to avoid the problems that gum disease can bring.