Gum Treatments

Gum Treatments

What is gum disease?

Gum treatments are undertaken when periodontal or gum diseases are present in the mouth. Periodontal or gum diseases are serious bacterial infections which destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth. Left untreated, these diseases can and do lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the number one reason why people over the age of 50 in Ireland actually lose teeth. Periodontal infection can affect your general health and hence it is important to control. But this can be treated by a number of gum treatments.

What is Periodontics (Gum Treatments)?

Periodontics or gum treatments is the name given to the branch of dentistry concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gum (periodontal) disease, and the placement of dental implants.

Gum disease is caused by build-up of bacteria in plaque, a sticky colourless film that constantly forms on your teeth. Regular brushing & flossing and hygienist treatment with our hygienist Joann can remove this build up and prevent gum disease from progressing. If plaque is allowed to build up, it will cause irritation to the gums, making them swell up and bleed. This is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is reversible and is resolved by excellent at-home care and hygienist treatment.

If gingivitis is not treated and the plaque continually builds up, you will be at risk of periodontitis. This is when the fibres around the tooth are damaged by the increase in bacteria, resulting in pockets and ultimately bone loss around the tooth. Periodontitis is a serious and irreversible condition that can lead to tooth loss.

If you have gingivitis, we recommend that you visit our hygienists Yvonne or Liz for regular professional cleaning.

If you have periodontitis, a full initial assessment will be carried out by our periodontists, Dr. Anne O’Donoghue or Dr. Paddy Delaney, who will plan a course of treatment specifically tailored to your needs. Quite often, you will have been referred to us by your family dentist.

Scaling-and-PlaningTreatment will depend on how far the disease has developed. Typically, you will undergo in-depth cleaning – a treatment known as “root debridement”. This may require several appointments. Typical cases last from 3 months to 1 year, but for some people, a lifetime commitment may be required.

As the crowns and roots of the teeth become clean, your gums will tighten up on their root surfaces. Any loose teeth may also become firmer. As periodontal disease is an infection by plaque bacteria and other micro-organisms, treatment will typically involve the application of a topical anti-microbial drug (Dentomycin gel) directly into the gingival crevices & pockets.

In advanced cases, root debridement is not sufficient to achieve optimal results. In this case, surgical treatment using growth factors (Emdogain®) and bone substitute (Geistlich Bio-Oss®) may be required.

To reduce discomfort, all periodontal procedures are completed under local anaesthetic and/orconscious sedation. There may be some post-operative discomfort which you will be advised how to manage by our team.

It is critical that throughout your treatment and following treatment that you maintain a high level of oral hygiene.
You can do this by:
→ Regular brushing; recommended 3 times/day
→ Using fluoride alcohol-free mouth wash daily
→ Using inter-dental brushes daily
→ Eating plenty of fruit & maintain a healthy low-sugar diet; avoid sticky sweets, biscuits, gum, fizzy drinks etc.
→ Visiting your dentist regularly

Your new smile will enhance your appearance, increase your confidence and improve your dentition. Please look after your new smile as a lack of conscientious care can lead to staining, decay, gum problems and many more complications.

Tell me more about Cleaning & Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene 

Oral hygiene is a cornerstone of good oral health. Keeping your mouth clean will prevent dental decay, gum disease and bad breath. In order to do this, excellent at-home care is needed. In addition, regular visits to our dental hygienists will ensure that hard to reach areas of the mouth, such as below the gum line or around dental implants, are thoroughly cleaned.

Optimal oral health is possible for all patients. The first step in at-home care involves brushing, which cleans about 80% of the tooth surface. The second step is cleaning between the teeth, using either Tepe brushes or floss, which tackle that hard to reach 20%. Step three involves maintaining a healthy lifestyle including quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol, eating well and managing stress. Finally, step four is professional care – regular visits to your dentist and hygienist.

We recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice daily – morning and night – and if possible, just after lunchtime. If you are brushing correctly, it should take you around 2 minutes to complete.  Watch yourself in a mirror to make sure you use the correct angle of your brush and reach all the surfaces of your teeth.

  • Apply a pea-sized amount of flouride toothpaste to your toothbrush.
  • Begin by cleaning the outside surface of the teeth. Position the brush at a 45˚ angle where your gums and teeth meet. Half the bristles of the brush will be on the tooth, the other half will be on the gums. Gently move the brush backwards and forwards a few times using small, gentle strokes.
  • Use light pressure while brushing (similar to the pressure of writing with a soft pencil).
  • Use a soft tufted toothbrush unless we advise you otherwise.
  • When you are finished cleaning the outside surfaces of all your teeth, follow the same directions while cleaning the inside of the teeth. Now you can clean the biting surfaces of your teeth. Again, we would advise soft gentle pressure.

When you are finished, spit out as much toothpaste as you can. Don’t rinse out your mouth as this will dilute the therapeutic benefits of your toothpaste.

You should change your toothbrush at least every 3 months.

Brushing your teeth will usually clean about 80% of the tooth surface. The remaining 20% can ONLY be properly cleaned through the use of inter-dental cleaners such as dental floss and inter-proximal brushes.

Flossing correctly will take lots of practise so please be patient when you are getting to grips with this. Perseverance will pay large dividends in the long term.

Start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) about the length of your arm. Lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.

To clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and index finger of each hand. Gently insert the floss between the teeth using a back-and-forwards movement. Do not force the floss or try to ram it in to place. Bring the floss to the gum line then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth. Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space. Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth. As the floss accumulates plaque and food deposits (and possibly blood), turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.

To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefinger of both hands.

You may wish to use a mouthwash at this stage also.

Don’t be alarmed if your gums bleed or are a little sore for the first few weeks after you begin flossing. As you floss daily and remove the plaque your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop. You should also see the colour of the gums change from a deeper red colour (inflamed gums) to a paler pink colour (healthy gums). If you really look closely at the gums, you’ll also notice that the gums won’t look as swollen and the texture will alter too. This is all good news.

Cleaning teeth with daily brushing and flossing will help keep dental plaque and tartar to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove the build-up of tartar in areas where your toothbrush and floss have missed.

Our advice is simple. Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy and feel great for a lifetime.

Dental Check Up | Examination

Gum Treatments Practices

The following Dental Care Ireland practices currently offer gum treatment:

Gum Treatments Callan Dental, Gum Treatments Carlow, Gum Treatments Northumberland Institute of Dental Medicine, Gum Treatments Tullamore.

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