If you have recently noticed blood on your toothbrush or in the bathroom sink after brushing or flossing, you may have the early signs of gum disease, a condition called gingivitis. There is some good news about gingivitis though, as when caught and treated while still in the early stages, it is reversible. However, time is limited and it’s important to see a dentist in Oshawa as soon as you notice any changes such as bleeding or swelling, or pain. Without prompt treatment, gingivitis will flourish and progress into a far more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. By this stage we may not be able to cure your gum disease entirely, and you will need ongoing treatment to control it.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by the bacteria found in plaque, a sticky colourless biofilm that coats your teeth. When plaque isn’t regularly removed by twice daily brushing and flossing once-a-day, the bacteria infect and inflame your gums. The infection and inflammation can soon worsen, affecting the bone around your teeth, destroying it so it can no longer support your teeth. By this stage your teeth may feel loose and could even fall out, or we may have no other choice but to remove them.
Symptoms to look out for include:
• Red, swollen or tender gums
• Gums that bleed easily whenever you brush or floss
• Teeth that appear longer because of gum recession
• Your gums may separate from your teeth, creating visible pockets
• Teeth may fit together slightly differently when you bite
• Pus can develop between your teeth and gums
• Bad breath and a persistently nasty taste in your mouth
The treatment for gingivitis in Whitby is relatively straightforward and this is the only stage of periodontal disease that is completely reversible. After examining your teeth and gums, we can clean them professionally, removing plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from your teeth and just below your gum line. Removing plaque and tartar helps to eliminate many of the bacteria causing the infection and inflammation. Gingivitis is often caused by a poor oral hygiene routine, so we can review your routine with you and can suggest some changes. For example, we might suggest new techniques for brushing or for flossing and persevering with your new routine will help restore gum health so soon your gums will stop bleeding and will return to a nice healthy pink colour.
Treating Mild Periodontitis
If you have relatively mild periodontitis, we can treat it by deep cleaning your gums with a process called scaling and root planing. It’s a little like a normal hygiene appointment but also cleans exposed tooth root surfaces. These surfaces are planed or smooth, making it harder for bacteria to adhere to them. Sometimes, we may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection more effectively. You may need to see us more frequently for regular cleanings.
Treating Moderate Periodontitis
Moderate periodontitis is also treated with scaling and root planing therapy, but laser therapy might be used to remove severely damaged gum tissue. Laser therapy is extremely gentle and effective, and especially as the laser energy helps to destroy harmful bacteria.
Treating Severe Periodontitis
Severe periodontitis in Ajax requires significantly more treatment, combining surgical and nonsurgical therapies to remove the infection and to try to restore damaged tissues. Some teeth may need to be extracted, and can be replaced with dental implants, a dental bridge or denture.
Avoiding Gum Disease
Here at Margolian Dentistry, we much prefer to practice preventative dentistry and encourage all our patients to come and see us regularly for checkups and cleanings. Preventative dental care is the very best way to maintain healthy gums so call us today if you are overdue for your checkup or recognize some of the signs of gum disease.