What is Gingivitis?
When plaque is allowed to build up on the area where your gum meets your tooth, it causes your gums to become irritated and inflamed - this is known as gingivitis. Usual symptoms include gums appearing redder than pink (the colour of healthy gums) and you may notice your gums bleed when you brush your teeth. Effective cleaning can reverse the affects of gingivitis in just a few weeks. When plaque has been left too long it hardens into calculus (tartar) and will need to be removed by your dentist or hygienist.
What is periodontal disease (gum disease)?
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a disease affecting the gum tissue and the bone underneath your gums. The effects of periodontitis are irreversible - unlike gingivitis - due to a loss of underlying bone that hold your teeth in place. Bacteria then builds up in pockets between your gums and teeth. If left untreated, it will lead to tooth loss, with the rate of bone loss varying between patients. Like gingivitis, periodontitis is normally painless, however by the time patients are aware of the problem serious damage has already been done. In most cases, periodontal disease can be treated if caught early.
What treatments are there?
A large part of treating the affects are down to your own oral hygiene. Long-term control will require you to remove as much plaque bacteria from your gums as possible and we will be able to advise you on the best ways to do this.
Your dentist will need to clean out your gum pockets and the deeper are that you are unable to reach. This is known as deep scaling and root planing.