Gum Disease Management
From predicting heart diseases, diabetes, and premature birth to revealing leukemia, eating disorders, and vitamin deficiencies, your teeth and gums say a mouthful about your health.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the gum and bone around the teeth caused by the accumulation of germs and plaque. It is the major cause of tooth loss in adults.
How do I know I have gum disease?
The first sign is usually blood on the tooth brush or in the rinsing water after brushing. It is usually painless but in more severe cases, the gums appear red and swollen and may feel sore.
Some patients experience minor gum swelling with pus oozing out which they attribute to “heatiness”. Others experience gaps between their teeth with more food getting stuck.
How does it affect me?
If left untreated, it will lead to damage of the gum and the underlying bone. This will result in the teeth becoming loose and eventually falling out!
It has also been shown that untreated gum disease can lead to heart disease and premature babies. It is also associated with diabetes and osteoporosis.
What is the connection to heart disease?
In the recent Circulation (Medical Journal) study, after comparing the oral health of 256 adult heart patients with that of 250 others with no heart disease, researchers showed that the strongest predictor of heart disease is gum disease, followed by cavities and missing teeth.
The possible connection: “It seems that bacteria often found in the mouth can appear as the same atherosclerotic plaque associated with cardiovascular disease,” – Dr. Michael P. Rethman (past president of the American Academy of Periodontology.)
Can it be treated?
If the gum disease is detected at an early stage, a simple cleaning like scaling and polishing will suffice.
More serious cases will require deep cleaning and scaling below the gum margins. This is done with anaesthetic so that treatment is painless. We will also use the laser if necessary.
For severe cases of bone loss, more elaborate treatment will be required. Some patients may choose surgery so that we are able to rebuild the bone that has been lost.
During our comprehensive exam, we will advise about the conditions of your gum and what treatments you might need.
What can I do to prevent gum disease?
Proper brushing and flossing will help to prevent gum disease. Some patients may switch to using an electrical toothbrush and while others may require special cleaning tools like interdental brushes.
Feel free to talk to us if you have any concerns.
Keep your teeth for life. Prevent gum disease.