Treatment of gum disease

Once the symptoms, cause and diagnosis of gum disease have been established the next stage is to get it treated. The dentist will naturally be keen to get the disease treated as soon as possible; nipping it in the bud early is the best course of action.

There are several ways of treating gum disease, which we will go on to explore. Read on for further information.

Good oral hygiene

It may sound obvious but taking care of your teeth and gums can prevent gum disease from occurring in the first place. Taking some simple steps can also go a long way to treating the problem and stopping it from re-occurring.

Here are a few handy tips to follow:

  • Brush your teeth for up to three minutes, twice a day. Help prevent the build up of plaque and you'll go a long way to stopping it from damaging your teeth and gums. Using fluoride toothpaste is also highly recommended by dentists.
  • Try and floss your teeth about three times a week as part of your oral health routine.
  • Don't smoke. As we've already discussed on this website, smoking is not good for your oral hygiene.
  • See your dentist regularly.

Other treatments your dentist may recommend

1) A mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide may be prescribed by your dentist. These are normally designed to be used two or three times a day although instructions do differ - so remember to read them!

2) Antibiotics - Your dentist could well prescribe antibiotics, which can help reduce inflammation of the gums.

3) Perhaps the most immediate need from a patient is for painkillers. After all, having gum disease can be an extreme cause of pain and discomfort so these may be prescribed, although the likes of paracetamol and ibuprofen are always regularly available from chemists, convenience stores and supermarkets.

Dental treatments

Now let's look at the specific treatments which may be carried out by your dentist:

  • Scale and polish - This does what it says on the tin with the aim of cleaning your teeth of nasty gum disease-causing plaque and tartar. A special instrument will be used to scrape it all off.
  • Root planning - The dentist may take the decision to clean bacteria from the root of the teeth. With this treatment, given the potential for pain, an anaesthetic is likely to be used.
  • Surgery - This is usually a last resort but may be used in cases where the tooth needs to be removed, often in cases where the gum disease has not been treated early. Surgery is likely to be used for treating the more advanced condition of Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG).

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