Taking a look at gum disease

Your gums are a very important part of your mouth, and, as a dental patient, your job is to practice good oral hygiene. That means regular brushing, flossing, check-ups and cleanings with the dental hygienist. If you are diligent about all this, you can keep your gums firm and pink and fitting tightly around your teeth. By keeping plaque at bay, you should be able to avoid the more serious side of dentistry – periodontics.

Periodontics in EdinburghHere at Meadowbank Dental Practice in Edinburgh, periodontics focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of oral disease, especially in the gums.

It is very important to treat the early signs of gum disease, known as gingivitis. This is because untreated early gum disease can turn into something more serious – periodontitis.

How gingivitis shows itself

The gingiva is the area of the gum around the base of the teeth, and when it gets irritated, it shows up as puffiness, bleeding when you brush or floss, bad breath, redness, tenderness and gums that are starting to recede. You may not be able to spot most of these symptoms, but we can, and it’s important that you come to us regularly for check-ups so that we can check your gums. The sooner we can treat your symptoms, the more chance you have of stopping your symptoms from developing into periodontitis.

Periodontitis shows up as swollen, bright red or even purplish gums that feel tender when touched and maybe pulling away from your teeth, making them look longer than normal. You can develop new spaces between your teeth. There may be pus, and so you may have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth. Your teeth can become loose and there may be a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.

Untreated periodontitis can lead to loss of tissue and bone. One of the main treatments is to thoroughly clean any pockets around the teeth to prevent infection in the bone. We will remove any tartar and plaque. We may also polish the root of your tooth to do away with places that plaque can build up. You may also need antibiotics as part of the treatment.