A Short Guide to Periodontal Disease

Posted on: 25 January 2018

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is probably the most common dental problem in the world. The mildest form of gum disease is known as gingivitis, which is characterised by red, sore gums, but can usually be reversed with a good oral hygiene routine. If left unchecked, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, a more severe condition that can lead to tooth loss. This short guide explains how to find out if you have gum disease, how you can reverse the condition yourself, and what your dentist can do to help. 

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

The initial symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen gums that are painful to touch, and that also may bleed slightly when you brush your teeth. WebMD also describes some of the symptoms of more severe gum disease, including bad breath, gums that get shorter, and moving teeth. If you have any of these symptoms, contact your dentist, as they can measure your gums and evaluate whether you have gum disease. 

How to Treat Periodontal Disease at Home

Mild gum disease can actually be reversed at home with a good oral hygiene routine, although this is best combined with regular dentist visits. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day and also use mouthwash. Eat a healthy diet, and give up smoking if applicable. Colgate also explains how keeping your mouth moist is vital to reversing gum disease, so ensure that you stay hydrated throughout the day. 

Dental Treatments for Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis can be reversed with a standard scale and polish, which involves a dentist scraping plaque from your teeth with a range of special instruments. For more serious cases of gum disease, further treatment may be required. The dentist may be able to carry out a root planing, also known as debridement, to clean bacteria from under the gums. This can be uncomfortable, but the pain rarely lasts more than 48 hours. In the most serious cases, a tooth may have to be removed. Speak to your dentist about the variety of treatments they can offer, and ask which would be most suitable for your stage of gum disease. 

Gum disease can be inconvenient and unpleasant, but there is a lot that your dentist can do to help, as well as ways that you can reverse the condition at home. The most important thing is that you start to treat the problem as quickly as possible, in order to avoid tooth loss and further symptoms.