Periodontal (Gum) disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease. Nearly all gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day. Many of the bacteria in plaque are completely harmless, some and in particular one has been shown to cause gum disease.
- Gingivitis – means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning.
- Periodontal disease – long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost making the teeth loose. If you don’t treat it, the teeth may eventually fall out.
- Gums that have receded
- Persistent bleeding
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Persistent bad breath or taste
- Teeth that are loose or are changing position.
Who gets gum disease?
Gum disease can start when you are a child, but chronic periodontitis is normally only a problem in adults. Some people are more likely to have periodontal disease than others:
- Crooked teeth are more difficult to keep clean, so the gums supporting such teeth might be more prone to gum disease. Smoking makes gum disease considerably worse. Quitting smoking is important for your general and mouth health. For tips on quitting by hypnotherapy click here or visit the Irish Cancer Society website for other tips, click here.
- Certain drugs and medicines can affect your gums: ask us about these. Diabetes and some other diseases reduce people’s resistance to gum disease. People who have these conditions need to be especially careful about their mouth hygiene. To learn more about gum disease and diabetes, click here.
- Existing gum disease can be worsened by hormonal changes, due to pregnancy or oral contraceptives (the pill). Here again, good hygiene is important. Click here for more information.
- Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables helps resist gum diseases. For information on how to improve gum health through diet, click here.
The outcomes of having treatment for gum disease varies from one person to the next. For many people gum disease can be cured, while for others, treatment may only slow down the disease process. In spite of all the treatments, effort and expense to keep the tooth or teeth, they may still be lost. However treatment gives you a better chance of keeping your teeth and can alleviate some of the symptoms, such as the inflammation and bad breath. Cosmetic dentistry and or surgery can help rebuild the look of the teeth and gum back to a more normal appearance, if required.
Our passion is the maintenance of a healthy gum condition for as long as possible. We are delighted when our patients attend years after their initial treatment for review and their condition is stable. However a percentage of patients will experience a gradual loss of teeth. It is difficult to predict exactly when this will happen, however by monitoring your condition over a period of time we are able to estimate this with a greater degree of accuracy. This information is very important; furthermore it will allow your dentist to anticipate your future treatment requirements.
Please note that we didn’t enhanced this photo and we are using it with the patient’s permission.
The treatment we provide can stabilise your condition and prevent immediate tooth loss. Many studies have shown that provided patients demonstrate meticulous oral hygiene and regular maintenance that even teeth with a poor prognosis can last for many years.
- Healthy gums, free from infection
- Fresh breath
- The ability to chew your food more easily
- Keeping your natural teeth for a lifetime!
- Commitment – to achieve the best outcome, patients must be motivated
- Maintenance – patients have to follow up their treatment with regular reviews
Most of our patients are referred to Mint Clinic from their dentist for assessment and treatment. If you do not have a general dentist, we are happy to see you, but we will recommend a general dental surgeon for all of your other treatment, were necessary.
Innovative gum disease test:
We are now one of the first clinics in Ireland to offer a gum disease test where you can get the results in 10 minutes. In the chair, with our painless, rapid salivary test we can quickly reveal if you have an active periodontal infection. We can get the results in 10 minutes and you can get treatment if necessary, during the same visit. At the follow-up visits, we can also use this test to confirm if your treatment has been successful. To book an appointment please email us or tel: (01) 678 9904