Gum Disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth .Its mainly caused by bacteria from the plaque build-up. If you have gum disease, your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth and you may have bad breath. This early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If gingivitis isn’t treated, a condition called periodontitis can develop. This affects more tissues that support teeth and hold them in place. If periodontitis isn’t treated, the bone in your jaw may be damaged and small spaces can open up between the gum and teeth. Your teeth can become loose and may eventually fall out.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria. Some bacteria in plaque are harmless, but some are harmful for the health of your gums. If you don’t remove plaque from your teeth by brushing them, it builds up and irritates your gums. This can lead to redness with bleeding, swelling and soreness.
Complications of gum disease
If you have untreated gum disease that develops into periodontitis, it can lead to further complications, such as:
• Gum abscesses (painful collections of pus)
• Receding gums
• Loose teeth
• Loss of teeth
• Increased risk of systemic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes etc
The best way to treat gum disease is to practise good oral hygiene, although additional dental treatments are sometimes necessary. Most patients require regular cleaning (scale and polish) at your check-up, or occasionally more frequently, depending on your overall gum health.
Scale and Polish
To remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) that can build up on your teeth, your dentist may suggest that you have your teeth scaled and polished.
This is a "professional clean" usually carried out by your dentist or dental hygienist.
They will scrape away plaque and tartar from your teeth using special instruments, then polish your teeth, if required, to remove marks or stains.
If a lot of plaque or tartar has built up, or you have signs of gum/periodontal disease, you may need to have more than 1 scale and polish, sometimes over 3-4 visits.
The price of gum treatments can vary depending on what needs to be carried out, so ask your dentist how much it'll cost beforehand.