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Last week on 30 August we posted the first of our two-part article about the prevention of gum disease, we talked about the risks of gingivitis and periodontitis and explained some of the symptoms of both of these conditions. In this second blog post we talk in more detail about the treatment of both gingivitis and periodontitis. Read the first blog post by clicking here.
Treating gum disease
The best way to treat all gum disease is to practise good oral hygiene, lower your stress levels and improve diet. Visit your dentist or hygienist for treatment.
Good oral hygiene involves:
- Brushing your teeth for 2-3 minutes twice a day
- Using an electric toothbrush
- Using toothpaste that contains fluoride
- Flossing your teeth regularly
- Not smoking
Your dentist or hygienist may recommend using an antiseptic mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine.
On their own, antibiotics are not effective at treating periodontitis, and they may only be recommended in severe cases of gum disease. Metronidazole and Amoxicillin are the most common antibiotics prescribed. Your dentist will advise you accordingly if required.
The following dental treatments may be recommended to treat gum disease and periodontitis.
Scale and polish
To remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) that can build up on your teeth. This is a “professional clean” carried out by your dentist or hygienist.
Root Surface Debridement
In some cases of gum disease or periodontitis, root surface debridement may be required. This will involve several visits. It is a ‘deep clean’ under the gums removing the plaque and tartar deposits and bacteria from the roots of your teeth and the pockets.
Before having the treatment, you may need to have an anaesthetic to numb the area. You may experience some sensitivity after the procedure.
If you have severe gum disease or advanced periodontitis, you may need further treatment which requires a referral to a periodontist (gum specialist) who can carry out advanced treatments such as periodontal surgery.
However in some cases, it may be necessary to remove the infected tooth.
It is important to visit your dentist and hygienist at least every six months so any problems with teeth and gums can be detected and treated early.
If you have had problems with gum disease and periodontitis in the past, or you have increased risk of developing gum problems, for example, if you smoke or have diabetes, you may be advised to visit your dentist and hygienist more frequently so your teeth and gums can be closely monitored