Gum disease is an incredibly common condition, and is the major cause of tooth loss throughout the world. You may also hear gum disease being described as a silent disease, and this because the early symptoms can be easy to miss as they don’t cause any pain. Gum disease is caused by plaque bacteria building up in the mouth. These bacteria are present in everyone’s mouth, and most are removed through regular brushing and flossing.
The problems begin if this doesn’t happen. Plaque bacteria will build up on the teeth and gums, producing toxins that irritate the gum tissues. This creates an inflammatory response, causing the gum tissues to become red and inflamed as the body tries to fight the bacteria. At this stage typical symptoms include noticing your gums look a bit red or puffy, or that they feel tender to the touch, or noticing they bleed when brushed. These early stages of gum disease in Leeds are called gingivitis.
At this stage gum disease or gingivitis can be quite easily treated at Leads City Dental Care. An appointment with Dr. David Brown or one of our other dentists in Leeds will help us assess whether or not you have this condition and if so how far it’s progressed. If caught early enough then we’re likely to recommend you have a professional cleaning with one of ourdental hygienists in our Leeds surgery. This will help remove the hardened plaque bacteria, lessening the inflammation and infection.
If your gums are quite infected then they may need to be deep cleaned. This process is often called scaling and planning, and is more intensive than a normal cleaning. It involves smoothing off any exposed tooth roots as this makes it harder for the plaque bacteria to adhere. After your professional cleaning you’ll be given strict instructions on how to care for your teeth and gums at home. Most people develop this condition because their oral hygiene routine isn’t quite up to scratch, but paying a little bit of extra attention at this stage should mean your gums improve within just a few weeks. It’s vitally important to brush thoroughly twice a day, and to persevere with flossing once a day, even if it initially causes bleeding.
What Happens If Gingivitis Isn’t Treated Promptly?
If gingivitis isn’t caught early on then it can develop into a far more serious condition called periodontitis. Periodontal disease is much more difficult to treat, and it may be that we can only offer you therapies designed to keep this disease under control rather than to cure it completely. Treatment is likely to be more invasive and more costly, and is definitely something we prefer our patients to avoid.
This is one of the reasons why Leeds City Dentalcare advocates regular dental checkups. Seeing you every six months enables our dentists to pick up any early signs quickly, so gum disease can be treated effectively, minimising any long-term damage to your gums. It’s also one of the reasons why we like our patients to see a dental hygienist at the same time. Having hardened plaque bacteria regularly removed from the teeth has been proven to be an excellent preventative measure. Certain people are more at risk of developing gum disease, particularly people with existing health conditions that affect the immune system such as diabetes. If we think you are more at risk of developing gum disease we may suggest you come in and see us more frequently.