One of the most easily-recognized signs of gum disease is blood on your toothbrush. This is caused by gingivitis, the inflammation of the gums caused by plaque buildup at the gumline. It is the earliest stage of gum disease and can be reversed as the bone and other tissues are not yet affected.
If no action is taken to control the gum disease at this stage, gums may begin to form pockets below the gumline. These pockets are a haven for trapped food, forming plaque. This stage is called periodontitis when the gum disease starts to attack the bone and soft tissue that hold your teeth in place, causing irreversible damage. Although the damage is irreversible, with proper dental treatment and good oral hygiene habits at home, further damage can be prevented.
The final stage of gum disease is called advanced periodontitis, which the supporting tissue and bones have been destroyed, causing teeth to move, loosen or fall out.
Are there other signs of gum disease?
- Gums that are red, tender or swollen
- Gums that have receded or pulled away from the tooth
- Constant bad breath
- A bad taste in your mouth
- Pus or infections between teeth and gums
How is it treated?
Mild gum disease is easily taken care of by brushing and flossing, at least twice daily, and making sure you visit your dentist regularly for thorough cleaning. No matter how careful you are with your dental hygiene routine, over time your teeth will be subject to plaque and tartar build-up which can only be removed at your dentist’s office by scaling and polishing.
Scaling and polishing not only removes nasty build-up but because it leaves the surfaces of the teeth smooth and clean, it also prevents the bacteria from sticking to the teeth because there is nothing left for it to adhere to.
What is involved in scaling and polishing?
Scaling and polishing maybe done by a dentist, or a dental hygienist. The procedure may be uncomfortable, but it should not be painful. If you experience pain or sensitivity, your dentist or hygienist should be able to relieve your discomfort if you let them know.
An ultrasonic device is used to knock the larger pieces of tartar from the surfaces of your teeth. It makes a loud high-pitched humming sound and sprays cooling water to wash away the debris from your teeth. Hand tools are then used to scrape the smaller pieces away – rather like a scouring pad on a dirty pan.
Once all the tartar is removed your teeth will be polished with a small spinning instrument that applies gritty paste to your teeth. This slight abrasion smoothes and polishes the teeth and finally fluoride is applied to strengthen the surfaces of the teeth which are weakened by the acids produced by the bacteria which form tartar.
Can I have the procedure abroad?
Yes. Having this simple procedure done abroad by one of our quality-checked dentists will save you as much as 85% - and could even save your teeth.