Gum Disease Treatment
THE ORAL HYGIENIST AND GUM DISEASE
A visit to the oral hygienist is vital to your oral and general health. Seeing that gum disease is the most common disease in the human body also known as gingivitis (mild form) or periodontitis (serious form) and associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes etc. Periodontitis is a serious infection that affect parts of the body around teeth e.g. gum and jaw bone. If this disease is not detected early and treated appropriately the tooth loses its attachment and eventually falls out.
What causes gum disease?
Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly forms a sticky, colourless “plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form “tartar” that will not be removed by brushing. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or oral hygienist will remove it. If it is not removed the bacteria will cause inflammation that will affect the gums starting as gingivitis and left untreated the infection will spread to the bone resulting in periodontitis.
Symptoms of gum disease:
- Bad breath not going away
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
- Neglect of oral health
- Hormonal changes
- Other illnesses and their treatments for instance Aids
- Medication that reduces saliva flow
- Genetic susceptibility
What causes gum disease?
- Clean your teeth by removing calculus, plague and stains.
- Monitor the health of the teeth and gums (gum disease).
- Give instructions on how to care and manage your teeth and gums at home as well as start a treatment plan if necessary for optimal oral health.
- Apply fluoride to strengthen the enamel and prevent cavities.
- Do fissure sealants in grooves of teeth for prevention of cavities.
- Tooth whitening for a brighter smile.
Bad breath is a sensitive topic and medically it is called halitosis. Halitosis can result from poor dental health habits or it can be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of food you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.
Causes of bad breath in the mouth are:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Gum disease (Gingivitis / Periodontitis)
- Cavities and failing fillings or crowns
- Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
- Systemic illnesses (Diabetes, Cancer, Chronic acid reflux, Kidney or Liver diseases)
- Other causes (Food, Drink, Fasting, Smoking, Medication and general morning breath)
What can you do?
- Have your teeth professionally cleaned
- Be aware of any changes in your oral health
- Brush at least twice a day
- Floss every day as well as make sure the tongue is clean
- Use a non-alcoholic mouth rinse
- Keep hydrated
If you have no effect from the above it will be best to visit your medical doctor to make sure there is no systemic problem causing the halitosis.
Gum disease effecting general health::
Yes, bacteria from gum disease can travel from the mouth into the bloodstream resulting in Bacteraemia. This is a risk factor for the development as well as deterioration of an already existing disease like:
- Heart diseases
- Diabetes (Especially Type 2)
- Digestive system (Gastric cancer & ulcers)
- Osteoporosis (Bone loss)
- Pregnancy (Low birth weight or early birth)
Caring for your child’s teeth:
We also encourage parents to make the first dental appointment for their children at about 3-4 years old. This is to familiarise them with the dental environment as well as to make sure they and the parents know the correct brushing technique as well as teach the parents how to floss for them.
There will be checked for possible problem areas so that we can address them at an early stage to prevent later problems that can cause unnecessary trauma and cost. We also discuss the diet of the child seeing that it can also influence the heath of the teeth.We are always open for any questions to be asked and will make you and your family’s oral health our priority.