Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a group of inflammatory conditions affecting the gum tissue surrounding the teeth. In the early stages (also called gingivitis), the gums become red, swollen and may potentially bleed. In its later stages, when the disease becomes more serious, (also called periodontitis), the gum tissue can pull away from the teeth, which can lead to bone loss and loosening of teeth. In some cases, teeth may fall out altogether. Gum disease can also cause bad breath.
Gum disease or periodontal disease is typically caused by bacteria, which infects the gum tissue surrounding the teeth. Factors that can lead to gum disease can include poor oral hygiene, smoking, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, family history of gum disease, and also certain medications. Gum disease can be diagnosed by a dentist, who will inspect the gum tissue surrounding the teeth carefully – both visually and also with a probe. They may also take X-rays to look for signs of bone loss around the teeth.
Treatment for gum disease typically involves maintaining good oral hygiene and having regular professional standard teeth cleaning, specifically around the affected gum tissue. We recommend patients suffering from gum disease to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing their teeth daily. In some cases antibiotics may need to be prescribed or dental surgery recommended.
Gum disease is a common dental condition, with typically nearly half of the population above the age of 30 affected to some extent. For people over 65, typically 70% of the population may have the condition.
c.40 mins check-up, dental review and upto two x-rays
Appointment to treat gum disease
Our dentist treatments are very ethically priced. That typically results in our prices being very competitive.
Dr. Deepa and Dr. Xenia are very experienced dentists, with over 20 years of dental experience between the two of them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes gum disease?
The primary cause for gum disease is poor oral hygiene. This in turn leads to accumulation of a bacterial matrix around the gum line (also, called dental plaque). This can cause the gums to inflame, redden and also bleed. This is an early stage of gum disease and is called gingivitis. In addition to poor oral hygiene, other contributory factors for gum disease include poor nutrition and also underlying medical issues (e.g. such as diabetes).
In some cases, gum disease can progress to a more serious condition called periodontitis. The gum tissue separates from the tooth structure creating a periodontal pocket. Microbes can colonize these periodontal pockets causing further inflammation to the gums leading to progressive bone loss.
Gingivitis – what is it?
The word Gingivitis means inflammation of the gum. The condition occurs when the gums surrounding the teeth become red and inflamed. Typically swollen gums can be associated with bleeding, when gums they are brushed while cleaning.
Periodontal disease – what is it?
Gingivitis if left untreated can turn into a more serious condition called periodontal disease. A number of different types of periodontal disease exist – they all affect gum tissue surrounding and supporting the teeth. As the disease progresses, the bone structure that anchors the teeth to the jaw can be lost, in turn making the teeth loose. If left untreated, teeth may fall out.
What is the likelihood that I will suffer from gum disease?
Over 50% of the population suffers from gum disease in some form. Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in people over the age of 30. The disease however develops gradually in a vast majority of people – the rate of progression of gum disease can be slowed down sufficiently to enable you to keep your teeth for most of your life.
What will happen if gum disease is left untreated?
Gum disease typically progresses silently. It often causes no pain as it worsens and the damage it does can go unnoticed. Sometimes however, bacteria associated with gum disease become more active, making the gums sore, inflamed and bleed. This may lead to a condition where you develop a gum abscess; pus may form and ooze from the tissue surrounding the teeth. Over time, gum disease can lead to loss of bone structure supporting the teeth. If left untreated for a long time, gum disease can lead to loss of your teeth. The longer gum disease is left untreated, the more difficult it becomes to treat.
How do I know whether I suffer from gum disease?
The first sign of gum disease is if you spit out blood in your spit after brushing or cleaning your teeth at home. Your gum tissue may also bleed while you eat and leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth. You may also experience bad breath.
If I think I have gum disease, what should I do?
If you think you are suffering from gum disease, you should visit your dentist for a thorough check of your teeth and gums. The dentist will assess and measure the ‘cuff’ of the gum tissue surrounding each tooth to determine if there are any signs of periodontal disease. X-rays may be taken to assess signs of bone loss if any. The assessment by the dentist is very important to identify the right course of treatment.
What treatment is needed for gum disease?
The longer gum disease is left untreated, the more difficult the treatment gets. Your dentist will first remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. The dentist will then focus on the areas where gum disease may have progressed leading to pockets in the gums. These gum pockets need to be thoroughly cleaned to remove microbes that may be growing inside. This process will typically need to be repeated a few times.
As part of the treatment for gum disease, the dentist will also show you how to remove plaque at home yourself and how to clean all the tooth surfaces effectively and thoroughly. Following your treatments with the dentist, the dentist will advise you how to maintain good oral hygiene and a care routine with brushing and flossing at home. Flossing and interdental cleaning is a very important aspect to treat and prevent gum disease from worsening.
Can smoking cause gum disease?
Smoking is a factor in aggravating gum disease. It can increase the occurrence of periodontitis (the more serious stage of gum disease), directly and also indirectly, Research shows that people who smoke experience greater bone loss and tooth loss as compared to people who do not smoke. This is because smoking affects the immune response – for example smoking is associated with decreased wound healing and suppression of antibody production.
Dr. Deepa, principal dentist at Whites Dental, is an experienced dentist with c.15 years of experience. She is highly skilled with the gentlest of touch. Over the years, she has treated many patients suffering from gum disease including bleeding gums, painful gums, inflamed gums etc. She will be very happy to help you treat any gum disease issues you may have.
Whites Dental provides treatment for gum disease (including bleeding gums, painful gums, inflamed gums, gum pockets, loose teeth) to patients in our vicinity in London Waterloo. We are based in London Waterloo SE1, next to Southwark Tube station. We are a 10 minutes’ walking distance from London Bridge, Waterloo station, Borough, Southbank and Elephant and Castle.