Blog by Vickie Harris, Dental Hygiene Therapist at Shelley Manor Dental

Gingivtis and Periodontitis

Stages of Gum Disease

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a reversible condition causing inflammation of the gums. It is the body’s immune response to the oral bacteria present in plaque. When plaque is continually missed and not cleaned away, it will harden to a yellowish colour called calculus.

 

Risk factors

Poor oral hygiene, age, medications, diseases, smoking & poor diet.

Symptoms

Red / purple gums, swollen / puffy gums. Bleeding with tooth brushing or interdental cleaning (floss or interdental brushes). Bad breath.

How to reverse or prevent gingivitis

Healthy gums do not bleed and bleeding is a sign that areas in the mouth are being missed when brushing or using interdental cleaning brushes.

At home, oral care is the most important factor and this should include tooth brushing, either by a small manual or electric tooth brush for at least two minutes. Use a fluoride tooth paste and spit the excess out and do NOT to rinse with water.

Inter-dental cleaning should be done at least once daily, either with floss if your teeth are tight together or with inter-dental bushes if the spaces between the teeth will allow this.

If you use a mouthwash this should be non-alcoholic and used at least 45 minutes after tooth brushing.

Regular hygienist appointments will help you to become aware of areas that you are inadvertently missing in the mouth. You will also get tips on how to reduce the calculus build up between appointments.

If oral hygiene is not improved, then in some patients this will unfortunately progress on to Periodontitis.

 

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is commonly known as gum disease. It is an irreversible disease that if left untreated can lead to tooth loss. Calculus present on the teeth surface will very slowly break down the supporting tooth structure. As a result pockets between the tooth and gum will form allowing more bacteria to stagnate. If left untreated, then the acidic reaction will break down the supporting bone structure, causing tooth mobility and eventually tooth loss.

Risk factors

Poor oral hygiene, age, medications, autoimmune diseases, family history, smoking, stress & poor diet.

Symptoms

Red / purple gums, swollen / puffy gums. Bleeding with tooth brushing or interdental cleaning (floss or interdental brushes). Bad breath. Unpleasant taste in mouth. Loose teeth.

 

How to stabilise periodontitis

Healthy gums do not bleed and bleeding is a sign that areas in the mouth are being missed when brushing or carrying out inter-dental cleaning.

At home oral care is the most important factor that of course should include tooth brushing. Use either a small manual brush or an electric tooth brush for at least two minutes using a fluoride tooth paste. Spit the excess out and do NOT to rinse with water.

Inter-dental cleaning should be done at least once daily with floss or inter-dental bushes. Use a single tufted tooth brush daily to clean within pocket areas.

If using a mouthwash this should be non-alcoholic and used at least 45 minutes after tooth brushing.

An initial periodontal course of treatment may be needed with regular hygienist appointments to arrest periodontitis. Your hygienist may recommend follow up treatments every three months. As well as having a thorough clean of the ‘hard to reach’ areas in the mouth, the hygienist will highlight areas that are being missed. Our hygienist will give you tips and demonstrate how to reduce the calculus build-up between appointments.

Co-operation from you as the patient is vital in the stabilisation of periodontitis.

—————————————————————————————————————-

Vickie Harris is a very gentle hygiene therapist. Moreover she achieves excellent results with her patients in reversing gingivitis and stabilising periodontitis. Call 01202 443882 to book in with Vickie.

Shelley Manor Dental
Shelley Manor Dental is a private dental practice and hygiene clinic set up by Dr Tim Doyle in 2010. We are dedicated to delivering a high quality dental and hygiene service.