Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused by inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth. There are two forms of gum disease; reversible gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and irreversible periodontitis (inflammation and destruction of a tooth's supporting structures). In many cases gum disease can progress painlessly and therefore most people may not be aware of the damage being caused. If you are worried about gum disease or have been told you have it please feel free to book and appointment with our dental team. As part of our routine examinations and recall appointments our dentists are trained to perform a periodontal examination to assess for signs of gum disease. They will assess your risk factors, such as poor oral hygiene, smoking, medical history and family history and provide appropriate recommendations and treatment.
Gingivitis is caused by inflammation of the gums and always precedes periodontitis. Gingivitis is a reversible condition. Gingivitis usually results in red and sore gums which can bleed when brushing. Gingivitis can be controlled with a good oral hygiene regime combined with regular professional scaling with the dentist.
If gingivitis is left untreated it can lead to periodontitis, which results in the loss of bone and gingival tissues which support and anchor the tooth. Periodontitis is not a reversible condition, i.e. any bone or gingival tissue which has been lost cannot be replaced HOWEVER IT CAN BE STOPPED FROM PROGRESSING WITH APPROPRIATE TREATMENT such as:
Oral hygiene advice
Scaling and polishing (see gum treatment section of treatments and procedures for info)
Root surface debridement
Surgery (needs specialist referral)