Gum Care

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What is gum disease?

There are 2 different types of gum disease, Gingivitis and Periodontitis.

Gingivitis is a very mild form of gum disease. The gums can appear red, swollen and may bleed when brushed. Gingivitis is very common but the good news is that it can be treated by a combination of treatments provided by our hygienist and better oral hygiene at home.

Periodontitis is the more serious form of gum disease and although it is very similar to gingivitis, the damage it causes to teeth and gums is irreversible. Once Periodontitis starts to occur the gums recede and ‘pockets’, spaces around the gum, form and cause infection. Cleaning alone is not enough to prevent periodontitis and it is important to see your Hygienist to prevent tooth loss.

Who’s at risk? (Risk Factors)

Smoking is the most significant risk factor associated with gum disease.
Hormonal changes in girls/women can make gums more sensitive and make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
Diabetes – People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing gum disease.
Other illnesses like cancer and their treatments can affect the gums.
Medications – There are hundreds of medications that reduce the flow of saliva. Without enough saliva, the mouth is vulnerable to infections such as gum disease. This can make it difficult to keep teeth and gums clean.
Genetic susceptibility – Some people are more prone to severe gum disease than others.
Periodontal treatment stages.

Periodontal Treatment Phases

Throughout your periodontal treatment at Abbey Dental practice, there will be a series of phases which are specifically designed to provide you with the most efficient and successful treatment. However, the period of time required to complete such treatment can vary depending on your current level of oral hygiene.

  • This is a simple assessment phase to establish your current level of oral hygiene. Within this appointment, your hygienist will produce a series of numerical scores. These scores will relate to the amount of plaque and bleeding displayed within your mouth and also show the levels of destruction of your gums, including the bone and ligaments. If you receive high scores, the hygienist will plan an effective course of treatment for you to reduce and prevent the chance of you developing gum disease.

  • At this appointment your hygienist will provide a general clean and polish procedure, removing any visible plaque and tartar present on the teeth above the gum line. They will also outline a series of effective cleaning techniques which should be used at home in order to maintain a healthy mouth.

    The advised techniques can vary between patients and are dependent upon your current level of oral hygiene. The aim of this phase is to ensure that around 90% of the mouth is plaque free. Progression to the next phase of treatment depends upon your cooperation to complete such cleaning techniques, and how well the surrounding gums respond to such techniques.

  • With the use of specialist instruments, your hygienist will deeply clean the teeth under local anesthetic to remove any deposits within the surrounding pockets of the teeth below the gum line. This treatment is required to remove infection-causing bacteria and irritants beneath the gum line which can cause gum disease.

    Dependant on the progression of such gum disease, this procedure must be completed either on all of the teeth present within the mouth or within localised areas. The duration of the treatment can vary between patients though often 2 to 4 appointments lasting between 30 to 60 minutes are required to clean the teeth thoroughly. It is sometimes necessary to use substances to disinfect the area below the gum line to help kill difficult to reach bacteria.

  • After 3 months you will have a reassessment appointment with the hygienist to check whether your gums have responded to the treatment as expected, and whether your oral hygiene has improved. If your hygienist is satisfied with the results displayed you will then be asked to visit once every 3 months to maintain a healthy mouth and prevent any further gum problems.

    This is achieved by a combination of good cleaning techniques and hygienist cleaning. However, if following treatment your hygienist is not satisfied with the level of response from the gums and feels that further treatment is required, you will be consulted with a series of options which could involve either returning to phases 2 or 3 of treatment.

  • Once your gums are healthy you will then go onto the maintenance phase. This is to enable your hygienist to help maintain the health of your gums and advise you of any further treatment required at the earliest possible stage.



At a dental check-up routine, your dentist will examine your teeth condition and any possible dental problems to ensure your teeth are healthy. If we find any problems in the early stages, it will be easy to treat and avoid unnecessary complications.

Periodontal disease (gum disease) can range from simple gum inflammation, to a more serious disease to the tissue around the teeth – in extreme cases, tooth loss is possible.

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