So what does the treatment of gum disease involve? Firstly, by being made aware that gum disease is present with a definitive diagnosis and education provided to you by your dental health professional. In many cases gum disease remains un-detected, as there is generally minimal to no pain associated. Gum disease is largely preventable and in some cases reversible. It is important to understand that gum disease progression can eventually lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Some common signs of gum disease to be aware of include: bleeding, redness and swelling of the gums.
The optimal method of preventing and treating gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene techniques to reduce the layer of plaque (film composed of complex bacteria) from your tooth surface and beneath your gum line.
Good oral hygiene practices involve:
- Toothbrushing all surfaces of your teeth and gum line in a gentle motion for a minimum of two minutes twice daily in the morning and in the evenings before bed.
- Cleaning in between your teeth with dental floss or interdental brushes is essential in effectively removing the plaque from areas that are difficult to reach with your toothbrush. There are various dental hygiene aids available to suit your individual needs.
- Chlorhexidine mouthwashes are recommended in some cases of gum disease for short-term use to reduce bacteria quantity in the mouth.
It is recommended to seek professional advice on effective oral hygiene methods from your dental practitioner, including your dental hygienist, to improve on oral hygiene skills by providing instruction, and education to ensure you are on the right path to achieving healthy gums and improve your overall oral health. Following your gum assessment, the necessary treatment plan will be designed in consultation with you to achieve the best possible dental hygiene outcome. The treatment planned may involve the removal of plaque and calculus (calcified plaque) deposits from the tooth surface and below the gum line using specialised dental instruments. In some cases, a deeper clean is required which involves removing plaque and calculus from the root surfaces of the teeth – local anesthetic may be recommended.
Following dental hygiene treatment, an assessment of your gums will be completed to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment by examining how well the gums have responded. In general, if oral hygiene is good and the treatment deemed to be a success, a maintenance program will be designed for you to monitor and control gum disease, involving thorough cleaning and a check-up once every six months. In some forms of gum disease, you may be required to attend as regularly as three months for dental hygiene treatment and may involve a referral to a gum specialist (Periodontist) for further treatment. The maintenance program is the key to preventing reoccurrence of gum disease and excellent oral hygiene must be maintained to minimise bleeding and attain healthy gums.
Here at Core Dental, we highly recommend regular dental visits for dental hygiene treatment, assessment of your gums and other oral diseases to help you maintain optimal oral health.