Reva Dental Blog

Gum Disease Symptoms & Cures

Do You Have One of These Gum Diseases?

Gum diseases, also known as periodontal diseases, are bacterial infections involving the gums and sometimes the bone that surrounds a tooth. Gum diseases can affect one tooth or many teeth, and they range from gum irritation (gingivitis) to severe infection (periodontitis).

Details on common and serious gum diseases:

Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the earliest and mildest form of the gum diseases, and it is characterized by redness and swelling of the gums. Unlike more serious gum diseases, gingivitis rarely requires surgical treatment, and it can usually be managed with a professional dental cleaning followed by attention to a regular oral care routine.

Chronic Periodontitis: Chronic periodontitis is the most common of the fully-fledged gum diseases. The primary symptoms include receding gums and the formation of pockets between the gums and the teeth. Chronic periodontitis occurs more often in adults than in children; a majority of individuals with this condition are older than 35 years.

Aggressive Periodontitis: In general, gum diseases are rare in children, but some children (and adults) develop aggressive periodontitis, even if they are otherwise healthy. Aggressive periodontitis can occur in children as young as 3 years, and sometimes even younger. By age 20, individuals with especially aggressive gum diseases can lose teeth. Gum diseases that are subtypes of aggressive periodontitis include a condition in adolescents (sometimes referred to as localized juvenile periodontitis) that involves an over-colonization of bacteria. Another less common condition, sometimes referred to as prepubertal periodontitis, affects young children shortly after their primary teeth appear. Children with gum diseases might not complain of tooth pain, but common symptoms of gum diseases in children include excess plaque; red, swollen, or bleeding gums; and the presence of pus and unpleasant breath.

Necrotizing Periodontitis: Of all the gum diseases, this type may be the most severe. Also known as acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, the condition can destroy tissues, ligaments, and bones in the mouth. Necrotizing periodontitis is most common in people who smoke or in individuals who are malnourished or who have conditions that compromise their immune systems, such as HIV/AIDS.

Treatment of Gum Diseases

The treatment of gum diseases may be surgical or non-surgical, depending on the severity of the disease and the patient’s preferences.

Non-surgical: Non-surgical options for the treatment of gum diseases include antibiotics and a non-surgical deep-cleaning procedure called tooth scaling and root planing that removes tartar and plaque from below the gum line.

Surgical: Surgical treatments for gum diseases include procedures to reduce pockets that have formed at the gum line, procedures to regenerate lost bone and tissue, procedures to remove excess gum tissue to expose more of the tooth surface, and procedures to graft soft tissue onto the gums to cover exposed bone and prevent tooth loss.

The successful treatment of any gum diseases depends in part on getting regular dental checkups and following a complete oral hygiene routine. And if you smoke, quit. Tobacco use can interfere with the recovery from gum diseases and increase the risk of recurrence.

Call Reva Dental on 056 776 3786 to schedule your appointment. You may be eligible for a free check-up; see www.revadental.ie

Taking Care of Dentures

Dentures are used to replace missing teeth. At Reva Dental Kilkenny we offer full or partial dentures made either from acrylic with resin teeth attached or from metal (cobalt chrome). Your dentist will discuss your options and explain clearly what types of dentures are most suitable for you. Today dentures can be made to look and feel very natural and as they are custom made to fit your mouth they generally have a natural and comfortable fitting.

Advantages and disadvantages of Dentures

Dentures are a good way of replacing missing teeth without causing any damage to other teeth, through tooth preparation. They can also be a cheaper alternative to other more complex restoration treatments.

Cleaning your Dentures

It is very important to clean your denture to maintain its condition. It is also vital to continue cleaning other teeth still present to prevent plaque and tartar building up. This is to reduce the risk of periodontal disease occurring, which may result in the loss of other teeth. Plaque build up on the dentures can cause irritation to the gums, so washing the mouth out is just as important as cleaning the dentures. Always remove your dentures when cleaning, especially partial dentures. This will ensure all plaque and tartar is removed. Use a special denture cream and brush over a sink of warm water. This is less abrasive than using normal toothpaste and will prevent breakage if dropped by cushioning the fall. Do not use boiling hot water to clean dentures as they may become brittle and fade/bleach in colour.

Dentures at night

Remove your dentures at night. This will allow the gums to recover from a day’s wear by allowing saliva to bathe the gums. Leaving partial dentures in at night can cause damage to other teeth. Where clasping is used to hold the denture in place, decay can be a problem around the site of the clasps.

Denture adhesives

Even the best fitting denture may cause a problem over time. Upper dentures are usually held in place by suction within the mouth and the shape the cheeks will adapt to hold them in. In some cases a denture adhesive is a useful way of helping this. Lower dentures although comfortable when wearing can also feel slightly loose so an adhesive will help them feel more stable. A denture adhesive can also be used as a daily lining to cushion them against the gums to prevent denture sore.

Pain with dentures

When given your new dentures, you should not experience any pain, however on some occasions the denture may rub causing sore spots. It is important you visit your dentist if this is the case, as soon as possible to prevent the sore spot getting worse. Do not remove the denture, as this will enable the dentist to see exactly where the problem is and allow him to carry out any necessary adjustments.

Immediate dentures

These are made before tooth extractions and are fitted as soon as extraction has taken place. If this is the situation in your case you will be given an advice sheet on how to look after the sockets and allow them to heal. You will also be given advice on what to expect from your dentures. You may find that your denture needs adjusting after the initial healing has taken place, visit your dentist for this. It is also likely after 6 months the dentures will need replacing. This is due to the mouth changing shape, again your dentist will advise you of this.

Replacing old dentures

It is inevitable that old dentures may need replacing due to wear and a change in the shape of the mouth. It is important to visit your dentist every year if you have complete dentures for a routine screening and to check and monitor the other teeth.

Confidence in your dentures

Having new dentures can give you a new found freedom. They can give you more confidence when going out for meals or special functions. There is no need to feel afraid that your denture will drop or someone will notice them due to the technological advances occurring today. You may feel that using denture adhesives is a failure but this is not the case. A denture adhesive is just another way of holding the denture in place and if necessary should be used. It can also give that little extra support needed to make you feel comfortable when wearing your dentures. When eating for the first time with your dentures, your sense of taste can be affected, however this will return to normal after a few weeks of getting used to your dentures. With a little time, effort and perseverance your new dentures can become part of you therefore giving you more confidence in them, whatever you are doing.

Call Reva Dental on 056 776 3786 to schedule your appointment. You may be eligible for a free check-up; see www.revadental.ie

Problems with your Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are no different than other teeth, except that they are the last ones to grow into the mouth. Some people do not grow any wisdom teeth. Healthy and properly positioned wisdom teeth can be as useful as other teeth. However, they can cause problems if the teeth do not erupt into the mouth properly. At Reva Dental Kilkenny our highly trained clinicians treat any issues relating to wisdom teeth including extraction where necessary.

What is an impacted wisdom tooth?

The term that is used to describe wisdom teeth that don’t come through normally is ‘impacted wisdom teeth’. Two reasons for this are a lack of space, or other teeth being in the way. Impaction means that the tooth may be partially trapped by the jawbone, back teeth or gums. These teeth can grow sideways, emerge only part way from the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Just because a tooth has not erupted doesn’t mean it is impacted. The persons teeth may be developing slowly and it may be too early to tell. Our dentists, with use of x-rays, can determine if your jaw size can accommodate up to four wisdom teeth and whether the teeth are growing properly.

Problems with wisdom teeth

For most people, wisdom teeth cause no problems at all, but some people can suffer problems such as inflammation of the surrounding gum, a higher risk of tooth decay, gum disease in other teeth, and possibly problems with teeth in later life. Removal of wisdom teeth is a fairly common procedure.

When should wisdom teeth be removed?

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence in the UK (NICE) recommends that only patients who have diseased wisdom teeth or other problems with their mouth should have their wisdom teeth removed. Your dentist or oral surgeon will be aware of the sort of disease or condition which would require you to have surgery. These conditions include:

• untreatable tooth decay

• damage to adjacent teeth

• abscesses

• recurrent infection of overlying gum

• cysts

• tumours

Removing the tooth

The extraction will be done by your dentist at Reva Dental or in certain difficult cases it may be referred to an oral surgeon. The decision is based on case specifics such as how deep the roots are and whether the teeth are erupted or impacted. Some wisdom teeth can be removed with ease in a few minutes, especially upper wisdom teeth. Lower wisdom teeth are usually more difficult and can take anything from 30 minutes to an hour. The procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic or under intravenous sedation. Where wisdom teeth are being removed in a hospital a general anaesthetic may be administered.

Before the operation

Pre-operative instructions are comprehensive and may include fasting instructions for a general anaesthetic. No food or drink for six hours before the operation and no smoking to reduce chance of infection and improve healing.

The operation

There are several methods that can be used to remove wisdom teeth. An extraction involves getting access to the tooth through the soft and sometimes hard tissue (bone), gently detaching the connective tissue between the tooth and bone, and removing the tooth.

After the operation

After a general anaesthetic or sedation expect to be out of action for least two days, avoiding driving and other complex tasks requiring full attention span. The first six to eight hours are usually uncomfortable and will require medication prescribed by the surgeon or strong over the counter pain medication. Swelling should be controlled by ice packs and bleeding with a pressure pack of folded gauze pads placed over the extraction site.  A soft diet is generally best for the first few days following the extraction. Teeth can be brushed the next day, but be careful to avoid the surgical area for the first few days. If you notice any unusual bleeding, swelling or pain in the days following the surgery call your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.

How to prevent a dry socket

Dry socket is the most common complication following a wisdom tooth extraction. This is a very painful condition which is often accompanied by a foul odour and bad taste. It occurs when the normal healing process is interrupted by an improperly formed blood clot or if a newly formed blood clot is dislodged too early. This results in the underlying bone being exposed. A blood clot is a necessary foundation for new tissue and bone to grow and heal over a two month time-frame. When the clot is lost, the cavity becomes dry and is unable to heal, resulting in a painful post operative complication. The condition is preventable via a few simple steps:

• Follow instructions of your dentist or oral surgeon carefully

• Avoid disturbing the wound for the first 24 hours

• Avoid drinking with a straw because the suction will interfere with blood clotting

• Avoid smoking because it can contaminate the extraction site and delay healing

• Avoid excessive mouth rinsing which may interfere with blood clotting

Call Reva Dental on (056) 7763786 to schedule your appointment. You may be eligible for a free check-up; see www.revadental.ie