Gum Disease

A range of conditions affecting the gums and supporting tissue.

What is it?

Gum Disease, officially called periodontal disease, affects the gums and supporting tissues (bone and ligament) of the teeth. Unfortunately, since gum disease is generally painless and progressive, many patients who avoid the dentist are not aware of their problem until the teeth become loose and acutely infected, or need removal. Gum disease tends to progress faster, or develop regularly in patients who smoke, those with diabetes, or patients undergoing hormonal changes (during pregnancy for example).

Gum disease
Gum disease

Causes of Gum Disease

The most common type of gum disease (Gingivitis) is usually caused by plaque buildup from poor brushing or flossing. It leads to surface inflammation, confined to the top layer of the gums, and can evolve into a deeper inflammation if not taken care of. You may be unaware that you suffer from gum disease, even if it has developed into a deeper inflammation affecting the bone level around your teeth (Periodontitis).

Periodontitis is usually the result of Gingivitis that has not been appropriately treated, involving inflammatory damage from plaque or calculus (tartar) buildup below the gumline. This is where it is ‘out of sight, out of mind’. The direct cause is plaque or tartar settling into a “pocket” around your teeth, but gum disease is often accelerated by immune system problems, being stressed or run down, diabetes, a family history of gum disease, or lifestyle habits like smoking. Smoking is often associated with advanced gum disease.

Risks of Gum Disease

If insufficiently treated, Gingivitis and Periodontitis can lead to the supporting bone of the teeth being “eaten away” by the body’s inflammation response.  This leads to gradual loosening and potential loss of teeth.

Untreated gum disease may also have detrimental effects on your general health, as periodontitis has been linked with a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

For female patients considering pregnancy, it has been linked with low birth weight or premature births. Cardiac and vascular surgeons often require gum health to be established by dentists as part of their patient treatment plans.

Preventive Care

Preventive care in dental health is all about avoiding dental and/or gum disease, and maintaining the best possible oral health. In a busy life, it’s easy to forget how crucial regular professional scale and cleans and preventive maintenance are for your long term oral health.
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How can NewSmile help with Gum Disease?

Preventing and treating gum conditions means your dentist or dental hygienist will take the time and pay attention to detail, when providing thorough scaling and cleaning, both above and below the gums. This is why treating gum disease is generally not about a quick “in-and-out” appointment.

At NewSmile we have qualified dental hygienists who look after your gum health and cleaning, providing optimal time, care and oral hygiene advice under the direction of our dentists. Patients who have more advanced gum disease receive detailed gum examination and analysis, and may need stages of periodontal treatment care aiming to establish and maintain long term dental and gum health.

Following this, attending for your regular hygiene maintenance every (usually 6 monthly but sometimes more regular) is very important in maintaining periodontal health, along with excellent home care.


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