Gum Disease

Gum Disease or Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease affecting the tissues which surround and support the teeth and if left untreated can lead to loosening and subsequent loss of teeth.

What are the symptoms and consequences of Gum Disease?

As the disease progresses, gums become red and bleed with brushing and teeth may become loose and consequently, they will need to be removed. The most recent national adult dental health survey found that 54% of adults aged over 16 had moderate signs of Periodontal Disease in one or more teeth. More severe periodontal disease was found in 5% of the population.
Which are the causes of Gum Disease?

The primary cause of gingival inflammation is poor oral hygiene which in susceptible patients can progress to periodontitis. Smoking and other factors can increase the risk of Periodontitis. The majority of patients with perio conditions can be treated simply with oral hygiene instruction and advice, and debridement (cleaning) with special instruments to remove plaque and tartar. This debridement is called Periodontal Treatment and can be carried out by the dentist.

Peri – implantitis

Peri-implantitis is a site-specific infectious disease that causes an inflammatory process in soft tissues, and bone loss around an osseointegrated implant in function. Two entities are described within the concept of peri-implant disease: peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis. Peri-implant mucositis is defined as a reversible inflammatory reaction in the soft tissues surrounding an implant. Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory reaction with loss of supporting bone in the tissues surrounding an implant

The etiology of the implant infection is conditioned by the status of the tissue surrounding the implant, degree of roughness, and excessive mechanical load. Bacterial flora, which are associated with periodontitis (gum disease surrounding natural teeth) and peri-implantitis, are found to be similar.

Diagnosis is based on changes of colour in the gingiva, bleeding and probing depth of peri-implant pockets, presence of pus discharge, X-ray, and loss of bone height around the tooth. Treatment will differ depending upon whether it is a case of peri-implant mucositis or peri-implantitis. The management of implant infection should be focused on the control of infection, the cleaning of the implant surface, and regeneration of the alveolar bone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection that affects the tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth. Common symptoms include swollen, red, or bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, loose teeth, and gum recession.

If left untreated, gum disease can lead to serious complications. It may cause tooth loss, damage to the jawbone, and increase the risk of systemic health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.

Preventing gum disease involves maintaining good oral hygiene practices. Brush your teeth at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, floss regularly to remove plaque between teeth, and schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Avoid tobacco use and maintain a balanced diet to support overall oral health.

Gum disease progresses through different stages. The initial stage is gingivitis, characterized by gum inflammation but no irreversible damage. If left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis, where the infection spreads beneath the gum line, causing bone and tissue damage. Regular dental visits can help catch and address gum disease early.

The treatment for gum disease varies depending on the severity. Mild cases of gingivitis can often be managed with professional dental cleanings and improved oral hygiene at home. More advanced cases of periodontitis may require scaling and root planing, antibiotics, or even surgery to repair damaged tissues and bones. Early detection and intervention are essential for successful treatment.