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26 February 2018

Ignoring relatively minor symptoms can have long lasting consequences.

With work commitments and bringing up a family, life can be very busy indeed, and an additional trip to the Surbiton dentist can be seen by some as just one more inconvenience. Perhaps because of this, it is possible that some patients may wait until their next general check up before acknowledging that they have had a particular issue which crops up inconveniently.

At the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, one of the most common ‘complaints’ that people have, but don’t make an additional appointment for, is sore gums. Whilst most patients will seek an emergency appointment if they are in pain with a toothache, sore gums are seen by some as relatively minor and not very serious. This could be a serious mistake to make.

Gingivitis or periodontitis?

Although other causes of sore gums are possible, there is every chance that if you have been noticing this for some time, you may have gum disease. As we have noted before, this can be more serious than some people realise and can even result in tooth loss.

The first thing that our Surbiton team will do is to thoroughly examine your gums, inspecting them for gingivitis or periodontitis. With tooth loss a real possibility, it is essential that any gum disease should be treated as quickly as possible.

Gingivitis treatment

If you are in the relatively early stages of gum disease, this is known as gingivitis. Although symptoms such as sore gums and bad breath are unpleasant, the problem can usually be treated in a straightforward manner.

If we have caught the problem sufficiently early, it may be possible to reverse this with improved brushing and flossing at home. Generally though, we will also recommend that you have a scale and polish, performed by the hygienist at the Confidental Clinic. This is essential to remove any hardened bacteria from the teeth and gum line as this cannot be removed by home brushing alone. By improving your home cleaning and maintaining ongoing professional cleans every six months or so, you should be able to keep your gums problem free.

Treating periodontitis

Unfortunately, if gum disease has become advanced, a more invasive procedure, known as root planing, may become necessary. This will typically need to be performed by a specialist dentist known as a periodontist and involves the cleaning of the tooth right down to the gum line, and also removing any bacteria from the bone surrounding the tooth. A local anaesthetic will be necessary for this procedure and whilst it is essential to give affected teeth the chance of survival, success is not guaranteed in all cases.

Hopefully, the reality of serious oral health issues will encourage patients of the Confidental Clinic to seek an appointment should they notice any persistent problems with their teeth and gums, especially if it is some time before their next general check up.

If you have a problem and would like to have it professionally checked, please call our Surbiton practice on 020 8399 1291.

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