Fight Gingivitis & Periodontitis With Swiss Smile!
Gingivitis is an extremely common form of gum disease, wherein the gingiva, the part of your gums around the base of your teeth, is affected. The patient will feel irritation, redness, and swelling of their gingiva. While gingivitis in itself is mostly a mild disease, it’s essential to take immediate action to cure it as it may lead to a much more severe disease called periodontitis and tooth loss.
At Swiss Smile, we believe in long-term treatment. Hence, not only will we help you cure gingivitis, but we will also provide you with the best practices you should follow to ensure the disease doesn’t relapse. So, if you’re suffering from this disease, book an appointment at your nearest Swiss Smile clinic!
Causes of Gingivitis
Oral hygiene is one of the top causes of gingivitis as it encourages plaque to form on the teeth. This formation of plaque results in inflammation of the gum tissues that surround the teeth. Here is a step-by-step analysis of the causes of gingivitis:
Step 1: Plaque Forms On Your Teeth
Plaque is a sticky film composed of bacteria that forms on your teeth when starch and sugar interact with the bacteria that are normally present in your mouth. It is crucial to remove plaque daily by brushing, as it re-forms quickly.
Step 2: Plaque Turns Into Tartar
If you don’t remove the plaque from your teeth, it will eventually harden under your gumline and become tartar, also known by calculus. Tartar not only makes it difficult to remove the plaque as it creates a protective shield around the bacteria but also causes irritation along the gumline. It is at this stage that we recommend visiting a Swiss Smile clinic as professional cleaning is required.
Step 3: Gingiva Becomes Inflamed (gingivitis)
If a professional dentist does not remove the plaque, it will keep irritating the gingiva, eventually leading to its inflammation. Even then, if not action is taken, it will lead to tooth decay (dental caries) or swollen gums that bleed easily.
If gingivitis is not treated promptly, it will eventually lead to periodontitis and then tooth loss. Hence, as soon as you start feeling the effects of gingivitis, we recommend booking an appointment with us.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
It’s easy to identify healthy gums as they are firm, pale pink, and fitted tightly around the teeth. However, if you’re suffering from the disease, you will face the following gingivitis symptoms:
- Your gums will be swollen or puffy
- Your gums will turn into a shade of dusk or dark red
- Your gums will bleed easily when you brush or floss
- You will have bad breath, even after brushing
- Your gums will start receding and become extremely tender
The symptoms of gingivitis are fairly common among diseases. Hence, before we recommend a procedure to treat gingivitis, we first diagnose if you’re suffering from the disease and how severe it is using the following steps:
- Study your dental and medical history and identify if any other conditions are causing the symptoms
- Next, we will examine your teeth, gums, mouth, and tongue for signs of plaque and inflammation
- The final step to gauge the severity of the disease if measuring the pocket depth of the groove between your gums and your teeth by inserting a dental probe beside your tooth beneath your gum line. If the pocket is deeper than normal, we may even conduct dental X-rays to check for bone loss
Once diagnosed, the next step is treatment. We generally use one of the following types of treatment for our patients:
Professional Dental Cleaning
The first course of action in this procedure is to remove all traces of plaque, tartar, and bacterial substances. This step is known as scaling and root planing. To carry out this process effectively, we might make use of various dental instruments, along with a laser or an ultrasonic device.
In some cases, misaligned teeth, poorly fitted crowns or bridges, and other dental restorations may irritate your gums, making it harder to remove plaque during daily oral care. In such cases, we may recommend fixing these problems to avoid issues in the future.
Usually, gingivitis clears up after a thorough professional cleaning, provided you continue good oral hygiene at home. Our team of expert dentists will be happy to help create an effective at-home program and a schedule of regular checkups needed.
Right Way of Preventing Gingivitis
If you’re looking for the best practices to follow to prevent gingivitis, here are a few activities recommended by our team of experts:
Good Oral Hygiene
You need to brush your teeth at least two times a day for two minutes to ensure you have good oral care. The first time is usually in the morning and the second before going to bed. Additionally, you need to floss at least once a day, as this allows you to clean away the loosened food particles and bacteria. Depending on the condition of your current oral hygiene, we might recommend brushing after every meal or snack for a certain period.
Regular Dental Visits
We recommend booking an appointment at your nearest Swiss Smile clinic at least once in every six to twelve months for a professional cleaning. However, if you undertake certain risk factors that increase your chance of developing periodontitis, we recommend scheduling more frequent professional cleanups. These risk factors include having a dry mouth, taking certain medications, or smoking, among others. Besides this, we also recommend opting for an annual dental x-day as it can help identify diseases that are not caught during a visual dental examination.
Good Health Practices
The way you manage your entire body has a direct or indirect effect on your oral hygiene. For example, if you suffer from stress, you might develop bruxism. Similarly, to avoid the formation of plaque on your teeth, it’s recommended to eat healthy food and manage your blood sugar levels. It’s crucial for a person with diabetes to maintain proper gum health.
If gingivitis is not prevented or healed, it could eventually lead to periodontitis.
What is Periodontitis?
Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis is a severe infection of the gums that is caused by bacteria that have been accumulating on your teeth for a prolonged period. Periodontitis can affect your bones and damage your teeth. However, if you consult a Swiss Smile dentist at the earliest, we can treat this disease and ensure proper oral hygiene is maintained.
However, we recommend booking an appointment at the earliest as periodontitis advanced depending on the stage it is at.
The Stages of Periodontitis
Stage 1: Inflammation (gingivitis)
As mentioned above, the first sign of periodontitis is gingivitis. If gingivitis is not cured, it will eventually lead to periodontitis.
Stage 2: Early Periodontal Disease
In early periodontitis, your gums shift away from your teeth, which results in small pockets being formed between gums and teeth. Due to the bacteria already present around the gums, bacteria will start occupying these pockets as well. While your immune system tries to fight the infection, your gum tissue will start to recede. Most likely, you will experience bleeding during brushing and flossing, as well as some bone loss.
Stage 3: Moderate Periodontal Disease
If periodontitis is not caught in its early stages, the bleeding and pain, along with gum recession, will continue. Eventually, your teeth will begin to lose bone support and become loose.
Stage 4: Advanced Periodontal Disease
When this disease reaches its advanced stage, the connective tissue that holds your teeth in place will start to deteriorate. Moreover, the gums, bones, and other tissue that support your teeth will be destroyed as well. You will suffer from severe pain, bad breath, foul taste in your mouth, and excruciating pain while chewing. Eventually, you will most likely lose your teeth.
Periodontitis Treatment Procedure
We follow an intricate process to treat our patients who are suffering from periodontitis to ensure the disease is cured completely. Mentioned below is the procedure for periodontitis:
Step 1: Professional Cleaning
In this stage, we will follow the same scaling and root planing cleaning technique to scrape off the tartar and remove any rough spots on the tooth where bacteria tend to gather. After this, we will polish your teeth and treat them with fluoride.
Step 2: Follow-up Appointments
We will create a follow-up chart for you; wherein we will track the healing progress, first every few weeks, and then gradually every three to six months. If the periodontal pockets are still present, we will recommend another treatment option like antibiotics.
Step 3: Antibiotics
If your gum infection hasn’t responded to the cleaning, we will prescribe antibiotics to help with the healing process. These may be in the form of a mouthwash, gel, or even an oral tablet or capsule.
Step 4: Surgery
If the gum infection is still present, especially in areas that are inaccessible to brushing and flossing, we may recommend a surgical procedure to clean the deposits under your gums. If you’re suffered from immense bone loss due to periodontitis, we may recommend bone grafting as well.
Gingivitis and periodontitis are the most common reasons for tooth loss among adults. So, if you’re suffering from these diseases, we recommend booking an appointment with our periodontist experts at the earliest!
Do you have any questions or do you need any advice?
We will be pleased to be of service and to provide you with individual support.