Healthy gums the foundation of a per fect smile Healthy teeth and gums are essential - not only for eating but it aids speech, overall maintaining good health. They also form the internal scaffolding to the face, keeping in place soft tissue and lips and helping you sustain a youthful appearance.
O ra l h e a l t h a n d we l l b e i n g Thereâ€™s a direct correlation between oral health and overall health. Scientists world wide agree that periodontitis (gum disease such as bleeding gums, excess tartar, unstable teeth, bad taste and bad breath) can be a significant cause of diabetes, heart disease, low birth weight and pneumonia.
Gum Disease – periodontitis / gingivitis
Gingivitis Gingivitis is swelling of the gums. The gums become red and swollen, indicating the area has become
‘Regular professional cleaning and proper oral care at home can help prevent gum disease’
inflamed through plaque colonisation (‘excess plaque’ in layman’s terms?) The condition is reversible but if left untreated can lead to periodontal disease.
Gum disease is inflammation or infection
Plaque contains millions of bacteria which,
of the tissue supporting the teeth.
if not removed, will stagnate, causing
Without thorough tooth brushing, regular
inflammation and infection. Other factors
flossing and frequent dental checkups
causing gum disease are poor general
an accumulation of plaque will build up.
health, smoking and stress as well as
‘Myth: If you brush your teeth too hard your gums will bleed.’ Healthy, vital gums should not bleed when brushed. If they do bleed, it’s most likely due to inflammation, plaque build-up or, in some cases, systemic disease.
hereditary and systemic conditions.
Pe r i o d o n t a l d i s e a s e
There are t w o simple stages to gum disease:
Persistent inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) can lead to periodontal disease, which can present in a variety of forms, all of which affect gums and bone. In periodontitis the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost leading to gaps, loose teeth and shrinking gums, and, if left untreated, the teeth may fall out.
SmileScription™ Indications of gum disease 4 Bleeding 4 Redness and swelling 4 Bone loss
removal of plaque and tartar, allowing the inflammation to subside and the gums to heal.
4 Sensitivity 4 Bad breath 4 Tooth movement 4 Tooth loss Periodontitis and the destruction of
set up a basic periodontal examination
health and general medical health.
monitor progress of your gum disease.
simple at home regime If you have gum disease or have had it in the past I recommend you visit
1. Use a medium / soft small replace every three months.
Periodontal disease/bone loss is not
gums’ condition. Maintaining a healthy
reversible, but it can be contained
mouth is like building a house - your
through good oral hygiene, regular
teeth need strong foundations – good
maintenance and visits to the dentist.
gums. Without a set of healthy gums
but the bone will not grow back.
– you cannot maintain a healthy smile. Anaesthesia: local anaesthetic may be prescribed for certain conditions. Number of visits: one
2. When brushing the teeth, you should spend 2-3 minutes, ideally after each meal and before bedtime to remove all cavity-forming bacteria and prevent gum disease. 3. Be careful not to brush hard, as this can cause gums to recede and tooth substance to be lost.
lead to significant improvement. Not all hygienists are the same. As well as
unavoidable consequence of ageing.’ However, where periodontal disease
treating patients, the job of a good dental
With regular visits to the hygienist and
persists you should be offered a referral to
hygienist is to educate and advise patients
good dental care a smile can last for life.
a periodontist - a specialist in gum disease
on their home care regime. A good dental
who can provide options such as gum
hygienist should also record gum condition,
surgery, bone replacement and adjunctive
measuring bone loss using the BPE index.
Early stages of gum disease often
treatment which may include???
cause little or no discomfort, which
x-rays and bone measurement.
Initial treatment normally involves
Proper oral care starts with
enables the hygienist to monitor your
antibiotics may be prescribed, usually
undetected for some time.
P r o t e c t yo u r s m i l e
headed toothbrush and
the bone can be halted and maintained
means the condition may remain
want to keep your teeth for life.
the hygienist every three months. This
Where gum disease persists,
Tr e a t i n g g u m d i s e a s e
polish – you can’t rush things if you
Ca n g u m d i s e a s e r e t u r n ?
for a three-month period, which can
on a regular basis. The timing of these appointments is dependent on your oral
bone is not reversible. The damage to
‘Myth: Growing ‘long in the tooth’ is an
All patients should see a dentist or hygienist
At this point your dentist or hygienist should (BPE) and pocket charting record to
4 Gum recession
What do I need to know?
4. Instead brush gently in small circular motions at 45o angle. 5. Flossing is so important – do it after every meal sliding up and down the side of the tooth.
You must accept, though, that thorough removal of plaque above, below and
‘Helping patients achieve beautiful
in between teeth (interdental brushes
teeth and healthy gums produces
are excellent for this) takes time.
people who love their smile’
Never accept a 10-minute scale and