Gums play a major role not only in your dental health, but in your overall well-being. In many instances, swollen and bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease. When people don’t practice proper dental hygiene, bacteria in the mouth forms plaque on the teeth. These bacteria may cause your gums to become inflamed, which results in red, swollen, or bleeding gums. If we treat gingivitis early, it can be reversed and healed with proper oral hygiene. Be sure to see your dentist if you have the following symptoms, even if you don’t have any discomfort:
- gums that bleed during and after tooth-brushing
- persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
- receding gums
- red, swollen, or tender gums
- loose or shifting teeth
When gingivitis progresses, it develops into periodontitis, a condition in which the gums and bone that hold the teeth in place can be severely weakened. The bacteria on the teeth release toxic substances destroying the attachment between the teeth and the bone, leading to infection. The infection and the inflammation that result when your body attacks the bacteria can degrade your gums and the bone in your jaw even further. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
What are your treatment options?
The main goal of treatment is to eliminate and control the cause of the infection. The number and types of treatment will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease.
If on examination you do have gum disease, the dentist will remove the plaque through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing. Scaling means scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing gets rid of rough spots on the tooth root where the germs gather, and helps remove bacteria that contribute to the disease.
Any type of treatment requires that the patient keep up good daily care at home which includes:-
- Brushing your teeth twice a day.
- Flossing regularly to remove plaque from between teeth. Or using a special brush or wooden or plastic pick recommended by your dentist.
- Visiting the dentist routinely for a check-up and professional cleaning.
- Assessing any systemic disease that may be contributing to the problem, including diabetes.
Does it hurt?
There can be some discomfort with different procedures, depending on what is required. Whilst we can’t promise a completely pain free experience, we do our best to talk you through every step along the way and make sure you are comfortable through all treatment. We will ensure that you are completely numb, and stop at any time you need to.
For our patients who are scared or who find it difficult to sit through lengthy treatments, we can offer oral sedation so that they are relaxed on arrival and during treatment.
How much does it cost?
The cost of your treatment will depend on the extent of the gum issue in your mouth and the recommended treatment plan. The dentist will examine you and discuss this with you.
If you are a member of BUPA or HBF health funds – we are a preferred provider, so you will maximise your benefit when you make a claim for your treatment. Alternatively, if you have a Centrelink income, you may be entitled to some government funding to assist with your treatment, under the Country Dental Health Services scheme. However, some of the treatment for gum issues is not covered under this the Country Dental Health Services Scheme.
If you haven’t been to our surgery before we are happy to arrange a 15-minute consultation, with no out of pocket cost, to do a brief examination of your mouth, and discuss treatment options. At your consultation it is likely that the dentist will recommend a full examination and some x-rays for starters to determine fully what your treatment plan should be.
Regular dental check-ups will assist with identifying any gum issue early on and allow you to get treatment before it becomes more serious.