Plaque is the main cause of gum disease (and decay) in the mouth. There are harmful bacteria in plaque that damage gums and the underlying bone that supports teeth.
If you clean your teeth and gums regularly and effectively with the appropriate toothbrush; and also between teeth (using floss or inter-dental brushes), then the plaque levels in your mouth will be at a minimum. This will ensure you have a healthy mouth and avoid losing teeth in the long run.
Smoking is a major contributing factor to gum disease and bad breath.
Signs of gum disease include:
- Bleeding and swollen gums
- Loosening of teeth
- Bad breath
- Gum pockets (i.e. loosening of the gums at the edges of the teeth)
What happens if gum disease is left untreated?
The answer is simple – the teeth get looser and will eventually fall out. This is because the harmful plaque slowly destroys the supporting bone (irreversibly!) around the roots. Treatment to replace missing teeth is then time consuming, more complex and expensive.
Dr. Patel is able to carry out more complex deep cleaning of the gums and soft tissues by using local anaesthetic. The gum pockets are then debrided using an ultrasonic scaler and then finally an antibacterial gel is inserted into the gums pockets to destroy any remaining bacteria. Following this, thorough oral hygiene instructions are given to help you minimise future plaque build up. Once this deep clean is completed the patient is referred back for routine hygiene cleans every 3-6 months.