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 Treatment of Gum Infection


Periodontal disease is the inflammation and infection of the gums. It is caused by plaque, a thick sticky film of bacteria that builds up on the teeth.


Plaque can harden to become calculus, known also as tartar. Plaque and calculus are caused by poor oral hygiene; that is, the teeth have not been cleaned thoroughly or often enough.


Early stage of gum disease: bacteria in plaque and calculus  can damage the gums and cause gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis can usually be treated successfully by removal of the plaque and calculus, followed by thorough but gentle cleaning (flossing and brushing twice a day).


Advanced stage of gum disease: the advanced stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. It can cause serious damage to teeth and the gums, and bone that supports the teeth. As gum inflammation and infection get worse, pockets form between gum and teeth, and gum may recede from the teeth. As a result, teeth can become loose, fall out, or require extraction by a dentist. Periodontitis  can results in the loss of many teeth in some people.


Benefits of treatment: the purpose of periodontal treatment is to stop or slow down the progression of gum disease. Benefits include having:

  • A mouth that feels, looks and is healthier

  • Teeth that feel smooth and look clean

  • A better chance of keeping your teeth for life


Signs of Periodontal Disease

  • Red, swollen, tender, painful or bleeding gums

  • Gums that have shrunk from the teeth

  • Persistent bad breath

  • A bad taste in the mouth

  • Abscess between teeth and gums

  • The fit of a denture has changed

  • Loose teeth, drifting apart of teeth, and gaps appearing between teeth


Diagnosis of Periodontal Disease

Our dentist will check your oral health by examining your teeth and gums, and noting whether plaque or calculus are present. Tooth fillings are examined to check whether they are well shaped and smooth, and are not loose or contributing to gum disease.

our dentist  will check for any change in the size, shape, appearance and texture of the gums which may indicate disease. A periodontal probe may be used to identify areas where gums bleed easily or have recessed, or where pockets have developed.

our dentist will check each tooth for movement, as gum disease can cause teeth to shift position or become loose. An X-ray examination may be needed to check whether the bony socket around each tooth is healthy.

Your dental history: our dentist will ask you about any problems you may have had with your health and teeth. A previous health problem can affect your treatment and medication.

Be certain to give ou dentist your complete dental and medical history including any major illnesses, heart problems, surgery, reactions to medicines especially antibiotics. Your dental and medical history is confidential.


Treatment of Periodontal  Disease

After examining your gums and teeth, our dentist may recommend periodontal treatment. A treatment plan will be developed in consultation with you.

 Treatment may involve the following:

  • Removal of build-ups of plaque and calculus using dental instruments

  • Scaling: the tooth surface is cleaned to remove plaque ad calculus from above the gum line, and in shallow pockets below the gum line. Scaling usually requires only one visit.

  • Root planing: deposits of plaque and calculus on tooth roots and in deeper pockets beneath the gum line are removed using instruments that leave the root surface clean and smooth. A local anesthetic may be needed to numb the teeth and gums being treated. Root planing may require several visits for different areas of the mouth to be treated.

  • Replacement of fillings: if a filling is contributing to gum disease, it may need to be reshaped or replaced

  • Instructions on how to improve your oral hygiene, including removal of plaque by better brushing and cleaning between the teeth.

  • Quit smoking; smoking increases the chance of gum disease and reduces the chances of successful treatment.


Our dentist will evaluate the results of treatment. If the gums have responded well and oral hygiene is good, a program to maintain you oral health will be developed. Scaling and root planing may have to be repeated during the maintenance phase.

If the gums have not healed well and still have signs of disease, you may need to take a course of antibiotics. In severe cases, periodontal surgery may be required.

If you do not have treatment, the risk is that gum disease may get worse, leading to tooth loss.



Side Effects of Treatment

Side effects may include the following:

  • Pain during scaling and root planing. A local anesthetic may be required.

  • Gum tenderness. An extra soft tooth brush or mouth wash containing chlorhexadine may be used if regular brushing causes discomfort.

  • Tooth sensitivity. Within a week of treatment, any tooth sensitivity usually diminishes.

  • Gum shrinkage. This is more likely to occur if gum tissues are swollen at the start of treatment.

  • Increased risk of decay around exposed root surfaces. our dentist may recommend a daily fluoride mouth rinse to help decrease the risk of decay.

There is no guarantee that periodontal treatment will save an affected tooth.


Preventing and Controlling Periodontal Disease

To cure disease or keep it under control:

  • Excellent oral hygiene must be maintained daily

  • Bleeding from the gums, caused by periodontal disease, must be decreased or stopped

  • Plaque and calculus on the tooth roots must be routinely removed

  • Enlarged gum pockets around the teeth must be treated regularly

As gum diseases tend to recur, maintenance therapy will follow periodontal treatment and is most important. The aim for you and your dentist is to work together to prevent, monitor and control the disease.

You can help prevent gum disease by taking good care of your teeth every day and having regular check ups. Effective tooth brushing will remove most plaque that builds up on the teeth, although brushing does not remove all plaque from between teeth. Dental floss, tooth picks or special interdental brushes should be used to reach surfaces of teeth touched by neighbouring teeth.

Daily brushing and cleaning between teeth will keep gums and teeth clean and reduce your risk of gum disease.


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