What is Gum Disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease is caused by plaque – bacteria that builds up on your teeth and creates toxins. These toxins affect the gum tissue and bones surrounding the teeth.
Even if gum disease is painless at first and grows slowly, it can have serious consequences. You may lose your teeth, but this infection may also put you at risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes because gum health is linked to so many other aspects of oral and physical health. This is why we must stop it before it progresses to a more serious stage.
Types of Gum Disease
The two types of gum disease include:
Gingivitis is early-stage gum disease. At this point, gums may become sensitive, red, and swollen, and you may spot blood in your toothbrush or when you floss.
Periodontitis is a more serious form of gum disease. At this point, your gums begin to recede, and bacteria eventually fills the spaces between your gums and teeth. Jaw bone loss can range from mild to moderate.
Teeth lose support as your gums, bone, and periodontal ligament break down. Moderate to severe bone loss in your jaw may occur, and your teeth can become loose or fall out.
How to Maintain & Improve Gum Health
Though gum disease has scary outcomes, most cases are preventable with good oral hygiene and regular checkups. Here’s what you can do at home and how your dentist can help:
- Brush at least twice daily
- Floss once per day
- Rinse thoroughly with an alcohol-free anti-gingivitis mouthwash
- See your dentist regularly and let them know about any changes, gum sensitivity or soreness
What Your Dentist Can Do for Your Gums
Your dentist provides professional cleanings and tracks your oral health so any problems can be spotted early.
They'll ask if you've noticed any changes or sensitivity in your gums, if you've been practicing good oral hygiene, and if you can answer questions about oral hygiene and care.
Treatments for Gum Disease
At Landmark Dental Centre, we offer a variety of options to help you maintain healthy gums, and prevent and treat gum disease:
To treat early-stage gum disease, we recommend frequent hygiene appointments, deep cleanings and specialized home care routines.
This surgical procedure thickens gums, protects against the damaging effects of gum recession and can help improve the appearance of your smile.
Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Surgery
Gum recession can be treated without the use of a scalpel or sutures using the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique. A dentist uses a needle to create a small hole in the patient's existing gum tissue, through which they gently loosen the gum tissue with special instruments. To cover the exposed root structure, the gumline is gently adjusted.
Teeth & Gum Contouring
These cosmetic procedures can help you improve the overall appearance of your smile. Teeth contouring entails shaving away excess tooth material and reshaping chipped, uneven, or poorly aligned teeth with a dental drill, as well as removing excess gum tissue to contour or lift gums.