Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults; it is very common in Australia, with 3 in every 10 adults having moderate to severe gum disease. The lack of symptoms in the early stages means that it is often left untreated until it has progressed significantly, and by the time it is detected, it may have had an irreversible effect, which results in tooth loss or the need for a tooth extraction.
Avoiding gum disease
Gum disease can be avoided. It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day to keep your teeth clean and free of food particles and bacteria. A good mouthwash can also remove any lingering bacteria and food particles for extra freshness. It is also important that you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, avoiding or limiting sugary and acidic foods. Sugary food promotes the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth, worsening gum disease and causing tooth decay, and acidic foods can inflame gums, again worsening the symptoms of gum disease.
Smoking and gum disease
Smoking is another major cause of gum disease. Studies show that smokers have twice the chance of developing gum disease than a non-smoker because smoking can increase the development of plaque in the mouth. The bacteria in the plaque can attack the gums, and the gums get infected more easily compared to a non-smoker because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, which means the infected gums cannot heal. This can result in irreversible damage, and if it is not treated quickly, you can eventually lose your teeth. You must speak to your dentist and find out about smoking cessation. Not only does smoking affect your dental health, but it can also cause life-threatening complications. The earlier you stop smoking, the fewer complications you will face in the future.
Symptoms of gum disease
The problem with gum disease is that it is asymptomatic; this means that you may have gum disease and not realise it until it has progressed quite a bit. The symptoms of gum disease can be unpleasant, uncomfortable and embarrassing. One of the most common symptoms of gum disease is bleeding gums, and the next is bad breath that does not go away with brushing and can cause much embarrassment and discomfort. Receding gums is also a sign of gum disease. Patients with receding gums can experience pain and sensitivity, and finally, gum disease can cause loose, wobbly teeth and, eventually, tooth loss.
As well as maintaining good dental hygiene, a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet, you must visit your dentist at least once every six months to avoid developing gum disease. Even if you have no symptoms, your dentist will be able to tell by examining your gums. They will advise you on how to improve your dental hygiene and the lifestyle choices you need to make, and where necessary, you may be given an antibiotic, mouthwash, a topical antibiotic, or oral medication to treat the infection. If you are in the later stages of gum disease, professional cleaning can help remove bacteria from underneath the gum line and improve the health of your gums. Unfortunately, if you continue to avoid your dentist, you will lose your teeth.
If you have lost a tooth or multiple teeth as a result of gum disease, you should speak to your dentist about dental implants Melbourne. Dental implants can be used for patients who have suffered from gum disease or tooth decay or have lost teeth due to injury.
It is vital that you improve your dental hygiene, stop smoking and improve your diet to ensure the success of your dental implants. Once your gums have been treated, your dentist will assess your bone health and ensure that the gum disease or missing teeth have not affected your jawbone. If so, you may need a bone graft to strengthen the jaw before you have dental implants. Once you are ready, the implant surgery can be performed; this takes a few hours, and within approximately six months, you can have your teeth permanently replaced with dental implants.
Once your teeth have been replaced, you must maintain an excellent dental hygiene routine and visit your dentist regularly to make sure that gum disease does not reoccur and that your implants can last for the rest of your life. Speak to your dentist today to find out more.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.