14th July 2022
How To Treat Gum Disease at Home
Your Guide to Treating Gum Disease
As a top dentist in Tunbridge Wells and Brighton & Hove, we work hard to create healthy, happy smiles that last our patients a lifetime. Part of this is down to practising good oral health, so our focus today is on gum disease. Here, in this blog, we’ll list some causes, symptoms and gingivitis home treatment. Read on to find out more.
Gum disease in short
If you’re wondering what gum disease is, we’ll break it down for you: it’s where gums are swollen, red and tender – sometimes with other symptoms, like bad breath (halitosis) and bleeding of the gums. In its early stages, gum disease is treatable, which is great news for those who identify the problem early.
Causes of gum disease
Gum disease is most likely caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on the teeth over time. These produce acids when you eat or drink which in turn damage tooth enamel, cause decay, and – if developing under your gums or tooth roots – gum disease.
Advanced gum disease
If gum disease isn’t treated, it can lead to a much more serious condition: periodontitis. This is where the teeth’s supporting bones and tissues are affected. You may develop gum abscesses (pus under the gums) and even experience tooth loss over time. The longer the condition is left, the worse the problems can be – meaning you might need further and more extensive treatment down the line.
Can I reverse gum disease on my own?
While maintaining good oral hygiene practices at home can help prevent and manage early stages of gum disease such as gingivitis, reversing gum disease entirely on your own may not be feasible. Gingivitis, characterised by inflamed and bleeding gums, can often be treated at home through diligent oral hygiene routines, including brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, and using an antiseptic mouthwash. However, if gingivitis progresses to more advanced stages of gum disease, such as periodontitis, professional intervention from a dentist or periodontist is typically required. Experienced dentists and hygienists can provide deep cleaning treatments, such as scaling and root planing, to remove plaque and tartar buildup below the gum line. Additionally, they may recommend ongoing periodontal maintenance and regular dental visits to monitor and manage gum health effectively. Therefore, while home care is essential for gum disease prevention and early treatment, seeking professional gingivitis treatment at home is crucial for reversing advanced stages of gum disease and maintaining optimal oral health.
Can gum disease go away untreated?
Gum disease, if left untreated, typically does not resolve on its own and can worsen over time. In its early stages, known as gingivitis, gum disease may cause symptoms such as inflammation, bleeding gums, and bad breath. At this stage, proper oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings, can often reverse the condition. However, if gingivitis progresses to more advanced stages, such as periodontitis, irreversible damage to the gums and supporting structures of the teeth may occur. Once periodontitis sets in, the damage cannot be fully reversed, but further progression of the disease can be halted and managed through professional treatment. Therefore, it is essential to seek prompt dental care if you suspect you have gum disease. If left untreated for too long, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss, bone deterioration, and other serious complications. As a general rule, the sooner gum disease is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of preventing irreversible damage and maintaining good oral health.
At-home treatment for gum disease
There are lots of things you can try at home to prevent gingivitis or to help treat it if it does develop. Our suggestions for gum disease self-care include:
– Swilling with salt water, which can calm inflammation and acts as a natural disinfectant.
– Sipping green tea, which is packed with antioxidants that target inflammation and slow down bacterial growth.
– Brushing as advised, which is two minutes a day, twice a day. You’ll need to use floss too, and mouthwash can have added benefits (if used at a different time – to prevent washing away any beneficial fluoride!).
In-practice treatment for gum disease
Gum disease can be treated in-practice through a professional clean, which helps to shift stubborn plaque, tartar and bacteria. You’ll need to schedule regular dental treatments to keep on top of it, which your dentist will advise you on. You could also benefit from dental restorations, for example if existing crowns or bridges are making it difficult to properly clean your teeth
How quickly can I get rid of gum disease?
The timeframe for effectively treating gum disease depends on several factors, including the severity of the condition, individual oral hygiene practices, and professional dental care. In the case of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, improvements can often be seen relatively quickly with proper oral hygiene and professional dental cleanings. With consistent brushing, flossing, and the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes, gingivitis symptoms such as gum inflammation and bleeding can start to improve within a few weeks to a month. However, it’s essential to maintain these practices consistently to prevent gingivitis from returning. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to more advanced stages of gum disease, which may require more extensive and prolonged treatment to manage effectively. Therefore, early detection and intervention are crucial in addressing gum disease and preventing its progression to more severe forms.
Book your appointment
Even if you’re happy to treat gingivitis at home, you should consult your dentist and attend your regular check up appointments. The Town House is always happy to accept new patients whether you are new to the area or looking for a new dentist. Find your local Town House Dental Practice by clicking here.