Have you ever experienced bleeding on your gums when you are brushing your teeth? Bleeding of your gums may be caused by one of the most common dental diseases in Singapore, gum disease.
In this article we will explain some basic facts about gum disease and gum treatment, which also includes prevention techniques from our Vivid Dental Team. It is important to keep your dental health in check, and at Vivid Dental Surgeons we will surely do our best to help you! 😊
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is the presence of bacterial infection of the gums and the bone supporting teeth. It may affect the dental health of one tooth or possibly many teeth. If left untreated gum disease may severely deteriorate your dental health and dexterity.
The main cause of gum disease is the accumulation of bacterial plaque on teeth. This can negatively impact your dental health. Plaque is a sticky film, it is made up of bacterial and salivary protein, that sticks to the surface of the teeth. Gum disease (or gingivitis) is the inflammation of the gums. Gum disease causes the gums to become red and puffy and easily bleed. Not to worry, because this type of gum disease is usually mild and reversible.
However, you must not ignore gum disease, because if not treated, it can progress into a more advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis. This is when the gums start to separate from the teeth, allowing bacteria to form gum pockets which will destroy the underlying supporting structures (bone and connective tissue) of teeth. The teeth may eventually become loose and need to be removed, requiring individuals to resort to dentures/implants. This type of dental disease may occur at any age.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Often times, gum disease does not have any symptoms in the early stages. However, when the symptoms start, the extent of gum disease becomes more difficult to treat and can further deteriorate dental health.
Signs and Symptoms may include :
- Bleeding of gums during teeth brushing
- Red/swollen gums
- Gums with abscesses or puss
- Gum recession (teeth appear longer)
- Bad breath
- Discomfort when consuming hot or cold food and drinks
- Loose teeth, spacing of teeth may form over time
What Causes Gum Disease?
Often times when we hear the words gum disease, we might think only elderly are more prone to this dental disease. However, this is a myth and should be debunked! Gum disease as mentioned above, is caused primarily by the build-up of dental plaque.
Dental plaque is a sticky and white in color. It usually sticks to the teeth and if not removed during daily dental hygiene, the plaque may become a hard deposit known as tartar. Tartar is very hard and can only be removed with professional cleaning.
Bacteria also accumulates in the dental plaque, which produce toxins that will irritate the gums and cause gum disease. The common dental disease can further cause inflammatory response in the gums resulting in swelling and bleeding that we usually experience when brushing our teeth. In more advanced stages of gum disease, our dental health may be compromised further as the toxins formed destroy the tissue surrounding our teeth thus rendering loose teeth.
Therefore, anyone who does not practice good dental hygiene is susceptible to gum disease, regardless of their age.
Below are some risk factors that will increase the chances of gum disease :
- Poor flossing and dental hygiene habits (not brushing regularly or wrong technique)
- Smoking (it affects your body’s ability to repair damaged gum tissue)
- Uncontrolled diabetes (more difficult to heal gum disease than people without diabetes)
- Pregnancy (due to hormone changes)
- Medications (e.g. antidepressants, anti-convulsions, certain heart medications, immunosuppressants)
Prevention is Better than Cure. How can I Prevent Gum Disease ?
Having dental check-ups at least once or twice a year will allow dentists to detect any potential dental diseases early and ensure your dental health is maintained. Patients who had gum disease previously, may require more frequent dental visits as a precautionary measure.
Of course ensure that you maintain your own dental hygiene at home, by brushing and flossing at least two times a day. This is to prevent dental plaque accumulation on your teeth.
Comprehensive Gum Treatment at Vivid Dental Surgeons
As mentioned above, maintaining good dental hygiene is important. In addition to that, professional dental cleaning and having a good lifestyle is also imperative towards the dental health of your gums. Gum treatment at Vivid Dental Surgeons effectively reduces inflammation and will improve the symptoms of gum disease. This involves scaling and polishing, also deep cleaning if needed. Fluoride gel may also be applied in order to prevent bacterial growth after the gum treatment.
Goals of Gum Treatment
The goal of gum treatment is to stop the progression of the disease and to restore your dental health. The treatment of gum disease depends on the severity of the disease itself. Dentists always try to promote reattachment of healthy gums to teeth if there are spacings between the gums and teeth. We will also target treatment to reduce swelling, the depth of pockets, the risk of infection, and to stop disease progression.
Treatment options depend on the stage of disease, how you may have responded to previous treatments, and your overall health. Options for gum treatment range from nonsurgical therapies that control bacterial growth to surgery to restore supportive tissues. If you think you might have the signs and symptoms of gum disease, do contact us to book an appointment.
Vivid Dental Surgeons are always here to meet your dental needs and concerns. We hope through this article, you are able to understand more about gum disease and gum treatment. Click here, to explore more articles from our blog. If you have any enquiries, click here to get answers directly from Dr. Ryan.
Dr. Ryan and the Vivid Dental Team wish you a great week ahead!