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  20 North Bridge Street, Hawick, Scottish Borders, TD9 9QW

Gum Disease

Why might I be susceptible?

Periodontal disease is the Number One cause of tooth loss amongst adults. This is because a certain number of people (15-20%) have immune systems that overreact to the bad bacteria in their mouths. When this overreaction occurs, the immune system attacks and breaks down the bone and tissue that surround the tooth. This destruction is not predictable and can occur sporadically. None of us knows if we are part of this 15-20% because we can’t usually feel or notice the onset of gum and bone (periodontal) disease. Both adults and children should be routinely checked for gum disease.

Keeping your gums in shape

Keep in mind that healthy gums DON’T BLEED. You are the key player on the hygiene team. If you don’t do the essential daily brushing and flossing, the rest of your dental team (the dentist and hygienist) is playing short-handed. And sometimes with everyone fighting the good fight, stubborn plaque and bacteria will require some new maintenance techniques for battling gum infection.

GUM DISEASE IS NOT CURABLE,
BUT IT IS TREATABLE,
AND IN MOST CASES, CONTROLLABLE

Are you living at high risk for gum disease?

Smoking: Numerous studies have shown that smokers have more gum disease. Smokers have increased levels of tartar in the mouth, and experience more tissue irritation, which makes their gums more susceptible to disease. Smokers have more bone loss and heal less quickly than non-smokers.

Stress: When our immune system is stressed it is difficult to fight off the bacteria that cause gum infections.

Dental neglect: Avoiding the dentist is a lifestyle choice that puts you at risk of contracting diseases of the mouth, teeth and gums.

Floss: Your hygienist or dentist works to prevent infection in your mouth from entering the bloodstream and reaching vital organs.

Heart disease: Gum inflammation products and bacteria in gum disease can cause heart disease, and in some cases, double the risk of a fatal heart attack. In addition, bacteria from your mouth may combine with blood-clotting cells called platelets, forming heart-stopping blood clots.

Stroke: New studies show that 70% of the fatty deposits of stroke sufferers contain bacteria, of which 40% comes from the mouth.

Diabetics: This group of people are more likely to have gum disease than most people and gum disease makes it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar.

Premature birth: Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be as much as seven times more likely to have a baby born early. Some research suggests that gum disease may increase the level of hormones that induce labour.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is gum disease?

Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning.

What is periodontal disease?

Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out.

Am I likely to suffer from gum disease?

Probably. Most people suffer from some form of gum disease, and it is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. However, the disease develops very slowly in most people, and it can be slowed down to a rate that should allow you to keep most of your teeth for life.

What is the cause of gum disease?

All gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria, which forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day. Many of the bacteria in plaque are completely harmless, but there are some that have been shown to be the main cause of gum disease. To prevent and treat gum disease, you need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day. This is done by brushing and flossing.

What happens if gum disease is not treated?

Unfortunately, gum disease progresses painlessly on the whole so that you do notice the damage it is doing. However, the bacteria are sometimes more active and this makes your gums sore. This can lead to gum abscesses, and pus may ooze from around the teeth. Over a number of years, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost. If the disease is left untreated for a long time, treatment can become more difficult.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

The first sign is blood on the toothbrush or in the rinsing water when you clean your teeth. Your gums may also bleed when you are eating, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Your breath may also become unpleasant.

What do I do if I think I have gum disease?

The first thing to do is visit your dentist for a thorough check-up of your teeth and gums. The dentist can measure the ‘cuff’ of gum around each tooth to see if there is any sign that periodontal disease has started. X-rays may also be needed to see the amount of bone that has been lost. This assessment is very important, so the correct treatment can be prescribed for you.

What treatments are needed?

Your dentist will usually give your teeth a thorough clean. You’ll also be shown how to remove plaque successfully yourself, cleaning all surfaces of your teeth thoroughly and effectively. This may take a number of sessions with the dentist or hygienist.

What else may be needed?

Once your teeth are clean, your dentist may decide to carry out further cleaning of the roots of the teeth, to make sure that the last pockets of bacteria are removed. You’ll probably need the treatment area to be numbed before anything is done. Afterwards, you may feel some discomfort for up to 48 hours.

Once I have had periodontal disease, can I get it again?

Periodontal disease is never cured. But as long as you keep up the home care you have been taught, any further loss of bone will be very slow and it may stop altogether. However, you must make sure you remove plaque every day, and go for regular check ups by the dentist and hygienist.

  • General Dentistry

    The modern dental practice is customer-focused. That means it offers a welcoming, relaxing environment that puts its customers – not patients – at ease.

  • Restorative Dentistry

    Restorative dentistry is the study, examination and treatment of diseases of the oral cavity, the teeth and their supporting structures.

  • Dental Implants

    If you have a missing tooth or loose ill-fitting dentures then dental implants could provide you with a viable and permanent solution to the personal and practical issues that this can cause.

  • Tooth Alignment

    Before placing braces on your teeth you will need a check-up for decay or gum problems. Do visit your dentist or the School Dental Clinic regularly, even when you are on braces.

  • Visit our Hygienist

    Our Hygienist Perio Therapy treatment aims to help you achieve your own healthiest possible oral health. This is done by helping you understand the processes of Dental disease, especially gum disease which still accounts for 3 out of 4 teeth ultimately lost. Your teeth will be cleaned using thorough but gentle techniques leaving your mouth clean and potentiality healthier.

  • Wrinkle Reduction

    I believe in a holistic rejuvenation approach to treatments and tend to aim towards subtle results that make you look younger and fresher rather than a fake and over filled appearance.
    - Dr. Med. Dent. Christiane Wassmuth-Gibbs

  • Tooth Whitening

    Whitening is a process where the tooth discolouration is ‘whitened’ to a lighter shade. It removes the staining agent through chemical means.

  • Meet Our Team

    We have a wonderful team here at Teviot Dental, please click on the link below to find out more about them.

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