Category Archives: Gum Disease

Can Gum Disease Be Reversed?

When plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, the associated bacteria irritates the gums and causes them to recede, bleed and become sore. This is also known as gum disease, which affects 3 in 4 UK adults.

As gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, if you are noticing signs of gum disease in between visits to the dentist, it’s crucial that you book an appointment with your dental hygienist as soon as possible.

Some of the symptoms to look out for include swollen gums, tender gums, receding gums, gaps developing between the teeth, loose teeth, a change in the way teeth fit together when biting, bad breath, bad taste in the mouth and bleeding gums.

When patients with gum disease visit us, the most common question they will ask is “Can gum disease be reversed?”. This guide explains everything you need to know about the types of gum disease and whether or not they can be reversed.

The Types of Gum Disease

Many patients get confused with the different types of gum disease and assume there is just one type. However, gum disease is separated by different stages and can be more complex to treat as it progresses to the next stage. In total, there are four categories of gum disease.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a non-destructive form of gum disease where gums appear red, swollen and can bleed easily. At this stage, there are only a few signs at this stage and most are painless, meaning that gum disease can often go unnoticed. 

Gingivitis is most commonly caused by a lack of oral hygiene and is reversible. As the mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis must still be treated by seeking professional treatment otherwise it can progress to periodontitis. Gingivitis is the only stage of gum disease that is completely reversible as it has not yet had time to attack the bones. Excellent oral hygiene and regular dental checkups can treat and reverse gingivitis.

Slight Periodontitis

Slight periodontal disease is the second stage of gum disease that spreads below the gum line and can also affect the gum tissue. Some common symptoms of periodontitis include bad breath, receding gums and pockets around the gum line where bacteria hides. At this stage, the infection has already spread to the bone. 

It is not reversible, but it is manageable. This does mean that patients will need to visit their dentist for treatment as excellent oral hygiene is not sufficient in reversing the damage thus far.

Moderate Periodontitis

The third stage of periodontal disease, also known as moderate gum disease, cannot be reversed. Unfortunately, the systems are the same as the second stage (slight periodontitis) however, the effects are greater, with bacteria beginning to attack your bloodstream and immune system. While it isn’t completely reversible, it can be controlled and managed with expert medical care and treatment. Treatment can be given in the form of scaling and root planing to deep clean the gums and remove the deposits of bacteria.

If moderate periodontitis is left untreated, it can progress to bone and tooth loss, gum sensitivity and increased bleeding.

Advanced Periodontitis

The fourth and final stage of periodontitis is known as advanced periodontitis and occurs when the infection spreads and evolves into disease-causing bacteria. This, unfortunately, gives you a much higher risk of bone loss. Advanced periodontal disease causes red, swollen gums that ooze pus and can also be paired with the loosening of teeth, cold sensitivity, painful chewing, and severe halitosis. 

This stage of periodontitis requires treatment in order to clean the periodontal pockets developed through the stages and rid them of bacteria. If left untreated, advanced periodontitis can lead to gum recession, spacing or gaps between the teeth and serious health problems.

Gum Disease Treatment

Gum disease treatment will depend on the extent of your gum disease and how severe the case is. We do recommend reading our guide to the Ways To Stop Bleeding Gums, however, even if the bleeding does stop, you will still need to visit your dentist.

You cannot cure gum disease, but you can control it as best as possible. The main goal of treatment is to control the infection.

If you do suspect you have gum disease, we advise you to contact us as soon as possible. We also advise that you:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day and after meals with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss regularly to remove plaque from between teeth
  • Using interdental brushes in between your teeth that are the correct size
  • Visiting your dentist/hygienist routinely for a check-up and professional cleaning
  • Quit smoking (this can make treatment for gum disease less successful)
  • Eat healthy

Book a Dental Hygiene Visit

Treating periodontal disease quickly is extremely important and critical in preventing further damage and serious health issues. The best way to keep on track and reduce the risks of gum disease is to schedule regular check-ups and cleanings, while practicing good oral hygiene on a daily basis.

If you are noticing the signs of gum disease, it’s important to visit your dental hygienist before it’s too late. Dental hygienists are specially trained in the prevention and treatment of gum disease and they can also give you detailed advice on improving your personal oral health regime.

As gum disease can affect other areas of the body including your lungs and your heart, it’s crucial to have regular checkups and that you visit your dentist as soon as you spot the signs of gum disease, even if you only notice one symptom.

We offer a wide range of treatments for gum problems, including advanced oral hygiene care and cleaning, as well as professional restoration treatments such as composite fillings, gum coloured fillings, gum surgery and ongoing hygienist services.

Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Seven Ways To Stop Bleeding Gums

If gum disease is occurring, then you may experience bleeding gums, sore gums or inflamed gums. Gum disease, which affects 3 out of 4 adults in the UK, occurs when plaque and tartar on the teeth builds up and the associated bacteria irritates and inflames the gums, causing them to recede, bleed and become sore.

Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, and we want to ensure our patients don’t suffer that fate and instead have the healthiest and happiest gums, supporting a beautiful smile. This is why not only is it important to understand the signs of gum disease, but it’s also important to know what to do when you first spot the signs.

In this guide, we take a look at seven of the best ways to stop your gums from bleeding and how you can prevent gum disease from occurring.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Bleeding gums usually are a sign of poor dental hygiene, with the gums becoming inflamed and bleeding when there’s a buildup of plaque along the gum line. If plaque is not removed from the teeth properly, bacteria and what it omits can irritate the gums, which is the start of gum disease. If the condition is not treated, it progresses and gets worse, eventually destroying the gums, and the jawbone which holds the teeth.

If you don’t brush or floss enough, bacteria can spread and cause tooth decay or gum disease.

To improve oral hygiene, brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss once a day. You may like to read our guide on how to optimise your oral health.

Using Mouthwash

Antibacterial mouthwash can prevent and treat gum disease, which is a common cause of bleeding gums, by killing bacteria and reducing inflammation in the gums. Antibacterial mouthwashes can be purchased in the supermarket or from any pharmacy.

Fluoride mouthwash can also help in clearing the mouth of debris and preventing plaque from building up in the mouth, as well as freshening our breath. As gums are the foundation for healthy teeth, it’s important to care for them and ensure we use mouthwash on a daily basis to help treat and prevent gum problems.

Using the Right Toothbrush

With most things in life, it’s important to find what works best for you, and toothbrushes are no different. If you suffer from sensitive teeth and gums, you should opt for a toothbrush best suited for you, such as an extra soft or sensitive toothbrush. Firm or medium toothbrushes can be rough on the gums, so if you find that your gums bleed easily while brushing, you should try switching to a softer toothbrush.

It’s also important to replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles appear frayed, which may indicate that you are brushing too hard.

Gentle Flossing

While it’s recommended to clean between the teeth with floss once a day, it’s essential to be gentle and not apply too much pressure to your gums or teeth. 

Your gums will eventually build up in strength with consistent flossing as overall gum health improves, so it may take a while for your gums to stop bleeding when you floss.

Avoiding Smoking

According to DentistryIQ, smokers are three times more likely to suffer from gum disease than non-smokers, with smoking weakening your body’s ability to fight off infection and making it more difficult for your gums to heal and the body to heal its tissues.

As smoking is one of the biggest contributing factors towards bleeding gums, it may be well worth giving up or reducing the amount you smoke. Often, our patients notice improvements in their oral health soon after giving up smoking. Giving up smoking can benefit the whole body and can greatly increase the health of the mouth and gums.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, fresh fruit and vegetables can support in keeping the gums healthy. Healthy gums can guard against heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, bad breath and tooth loss. Crunchy vegetables can help keep the teeth clean between meals, with leafy greens providing an excellent source of nutrients and reinforcing the enamel on our teeth.

Foods rich in vitamin C can strengthen your immune system and support in fighting off gum infections that cause bleeding gums. If you practice good oral habits and still find your gums bleeding, it may be worth adding more vitamin C into your diet. Cutting back on carbs can also help prevent the formation of plaque.

Visit Your Dentist

Wondering how to stop bleeding gums? If you notice any changes in your gums, teeth or mouth, it’s critical to visit your dentist for a dental hygiene visit as soon as possible. Pain, discomfort, redness or bleeding should be checked out as your dentist will be able to check for early signs of gum disease as well as other health-related issues that could be related.

Regular dental visits can stop minor issues before they become serious. As untreated gum disease can lead to infection and in some cases, tooth loss, it’s important to not delay visiting your dentist. The healthier your gums and teeth are, the lower your cost of dentistry!

How Can We Help?

We offer a complete gum assessment where our experienced team performs a full check of your gums to understand the kind of treatment and support you need. We can then help to treat the problems, and work to help prevent any further problems in the future. Support from our hygienists and dentists is a really good way to maintain healthy gums. 

We can help to remove plaque and tartar with effective cleaning techniques and also provide you with up-to-date advice on how to care for your teeth and gums day-to-day to help avoid any further issues.

We offer a wide range of treatments for gum problems, including advanced oral hygiene care and cleaning, as well as professional restoration treatments such as composite fillings, gum coloured fillings, gum surgery and ongoing hygienist services.

Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

How To Look Your Best Look After Your Smile

Important check-ups and hygiene visits

Dental ChekupA check-up allows your dentist to see if you have any dental problems and helps you keep your mouth healthy. If problems are left untreated, it could make them more difficult to treat in the future. It is therefore best to deal with problems early, or, if possible, prevent them altogether. A dental check-up or examination usually takes less than 30 minutes for routine check-ups and around 45 minutes to 1 hour for new patients.

Your dentist can carry out a thorough dental examination to check the health of your gums, which may involve inserting a thin metal stick with a bend in one end (periodontal probe) beside your teeth. Most adults in the UK have gum disease to some degree and most people experience it at least once. It’s much less common in children. 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.

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 known as 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.

Mild cases of gum disease can usually be treated by maintaining a good level of oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly. You should also make sure you attend regular dental check-ups.

In most cases, your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to give your teeth a thorough clean and remove any hardened plaque (tartar). They’ll also be able to show you how to clean your teeth effectively to help prevent plaque building up in the future.

If you have severe gum disease, you’ll usually need to have further medical and dental treatment and, in some cases, surgery may need to be carried out. This will usually be performed by a specialist in gum problems (periodontics).

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

Diet and erosion and decay

Everybody has a certain amount of bacteria in their mouth, good bacteria, and not so good bacteria. Every time we eat or drink, the sugars in the food reaA general view of dentist at workcts with the bacteria, causing what’s called an ‘acid attack’. The acid attack lasts up to an hour, so in this time your teeth are most vulnerable. The more acidic foods and drinks you eat, the more your teeth are at risk of getting cavities. We always advise to cut your acid/sweet foods down to meal times. You may ask why, the reason is, when you eat your meals, your teeth are naturally under attack, so if you want to eat sweets or fizzy drinks, it’s better to eat them with your meals, to cut down the frequency of the attacks.

Bacteria is plaque. Plaque is made from your saliva, food and sugar particles. It’s a sticky film which lays on all surfaces of your teeth. Plaque can be removed with a toothbrush, plaque also forms in-between the teeth, and this is why your dentist may recommend you using dental floss, or interdental aids. This is because your toothbrush cannot reach small areas in-between your teeth to remove the plaque.

If the plaque is not removed, its starts to form a hard layer, called calculus. Calculus cannot be removed with home aids such as a tooth brushing or flossing, so you will need to take a visit to your dentist, or dental hygienist, who will remove the hard calculus with special dental instruments. If the calculus is not removed, the calculus then eats away at the tooth’s supporting tissues, then creating tooth mobility.

How best to clean teeth

Brush your teeth for approximately two minutes last thing at night before you go to bed and on one other occasion every day. It doesn’t matter whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush, just as long as you brush all the surfaces of all your teeth. Remember to brush the inside surfaces, outside surfaces and the chewing surfaces of your teeth.

Some people find it easier to clean their teeth thoroughly with an electric toothbrush. If you’re using an electric brush, one with an oscillating or rotating head may work better than a manual toothbrush.

It’s important to use toothpaste with the right concentration of fluoride.

  • Adults – use toothpaste that contains at least 1,350 parts per million (ppm) fluoride.
  • Children – don’t need to use special “children’s toothpaste”. Children of all ages can use family toothpaste, as long as it contains 1,350-1,500ppm fluoride. Children aged six and under who don’t have tooth decay can use a lower-strength children’s toothpaste, but make sure it contains at least 1,000ppm fluoride.
  • Below the age of three, children should use just a smear of toothpaste. Children aged three to six years should use a pea-sized blob of toothpaste. Children need to be helped or supervised brushing their teeth until they’re at least seven years old.

After brushing, spit out any excess toothpaste. Do not rinse your mouth after brushing, as it will wash away the concentrated fluoride reducing its preventative effects. This will also happen if use mouthwash immediately after brushing. Choose a different time to use mouthwash, such as after lunch. Don’t eat or drink for 30 minutes after using a fluoride mouthwash.

Flossing isn’t just for dislodging food wedged between your teeth. Regular flossing may also reduce gum disease and bad breath by removing plaque that forms along the gum line. It’s best to floss before brushing your teeth.

You can use interdental brushes instead of flossing, especially if there are gaps between your teeth. The brush should fit snugly between the teeth.

Your dentist or hygienist can advise you on the best way to use interdental cleaning for your teeth.

Veneers

Looking after veneers is relatively simple.

  • Brush and floss as you normally would to prevent dental problems. A good home care regimen will insure the aesthetic success of your veneers for years to come.
  • If you are known to be a bruxer or clencher, i.e. you have a habit of grinding your teeth, please let your dentist know. He or she will provide you with a bite guard for you to wear to minimize the stresses placed upon your teeth while you sleep.
  • Regular maintenance and dental check-ups are recommended so that your veneers and oral health can be reviewed periodically.

Bridge/ crowns

It is important to keep the crown just as clean as you would your natural teeth. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. Brush last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste, and clean in between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes or floss.

Your new bridge will probably be made of porcelain as this is the most natural – yet also durable – material and it should last 10-15 years as long as you look after it properly. You should clean your dental bridge twice every day, just as you would your normal teeth. This will ensure that food debris is removed and will stop bacteria from building up around it. Super flossing will help too and is recommended by dentists. Your dentist will be able to demonstrate to you how best to clean and look after your dental bridge.

Implants

You care for your implants the same way you care for your natural teeth. It is important to brush and floss daily. If you have any problems, see your dentist before your six- month recall visit. Regular hygenists visits are essential.

Dentures

Keeping your mouth clean is just as important when you wear dentures. You should brush your remaining teeth, gums and tongue every morning and evening with fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems.

It’s important to regularly remove plaque and food deposits from your dentures, because unclean dentures can also lead to problems, such as bad breath, gum disease, tooth decay and oral thrush.

Clean your dentures as often as you would normal teeth (at least twice a day – every morning and night). You should:

  • brush your dentures with toothpaste or soap and water before soaking them to remove food particles
  • soak them in a fizzy solution of denture-cleaning tablets to remove stains and bacteria (follow the manufacturer’s instructions)
  • brush them again, as you would your normal teeth (but don’t scrub them too hard)

Dentures may break if you drop them, so you should clean them over a bowl or sink filled with water, or something soft such as a folded towel.

Perfect Smile Spa based in Hornchurch Essex is a Leading Cosmetic Dentistry practice and is dedicated to PAINLESS dentistry.

Call us for a free consultation on 01708 442 114 or email care@perfectsmilespa.co.uk

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What Should You Do If Your Gums Bleed?

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-beautiful-woman-smile-young-dental-health-image31414325Bleeding in the gums is a condition in which blood leaks from the gums and the spaces between the teeth. It’s estimated to affect more than half of all adults in the UK to some degree and most people experience it at least once. It is much less common in children.

If you have gum disease, your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth and you may have bad breath. This stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Continue reading What Should You Do If Your Gums Bleed?

What is Gum Recession and how can it be prevented?

What is receding gums?

receding-gumsReceding gums also known as Gum recession, is the exposure of the roots of the teeth caused by a loss of gum tissue surrounding the crown of the tooth. Gum recession is a common problem in adults over the age of 40. Age, Smoking, Gum disease  and vigorous tooth brushing are the main causes gum recession.

Continue reading What is Gum Recession and how can it be prevented?

What is fluoride and is it good for my teeth?

What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral which comes from a chemical ion of the element fluorine. Fluoride is found in many foods, drinking water and also it’s naturally found in our soil. The amount of fluoride that is in our water varies from different areas of the region, depending on where you are located. Continue reading What is fluoride and is it good for my teeth?

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A persons smile is the first feature that is noticed when you meet someone. Having a beautiful smile is becoming more important to people and Cosmetic dentistry is making that possible.

Cosmetic Dentistry doesn’t have to be a full mouth reconstruction. Sometimes the quickest, smallest treatment is enough to change a smile. Not everyone is blessed with naturally straight, white teeth and this is where we come in!

Continue reading How do I get a Hollywood Smile?

Ways Smoking Impacts your Oral Health

In 2013 it was estimated that in Great Britain there was 10 million adults who smoked, whether that be cigarettes, cigars or a pipe. 22% of those were adult men and 19% adult women. Even though it is illegal to sell cigarettes to those under 18 years of age, approximately 200,000 of children aged between 11-15 started smoking. Continue reading Ways Smoking Impacts your Oral Health