How Do You Treat Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common but preventable condition that affects the health of your gums and the supporting structures of your teeth. At Rayner Dental Practice, we understand the importance of maintaining healthy gums to ensure overall oral health. In this article, we will explore what gum disease is, its causes, symptoms, and the various treatment options available to manage and treat this condition.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. It typically begins as gingivitis, a milder form of gum disease, and can progress to periodontitis if left untreated.

Types of Gum Disease

  1. Gingivitis: The earliest stage of gum disease, characterized by red, swollen gums that may bleed easily. It is often reversible with good oral hygiene and professional dental care.
  2. Periodontitis: A more severe form of gum disease that occurs when gingivitis is left untreated. It can lead to the destruction of the gums, bone, and other supporting structures of the teeth.

Causes of Gum Disease

Several factors can contribute to the development of gum disease, including:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to plaque build up, which can harden into tartar and cause gum inflammation.
  • Smoking and Tobacco Use: Tobacco products can impair the immune system and make it harder for the body to fight off gum infections.
  • Genetics: Some people may be more prone to gum disease due to genetic factors.
  • Hormonal Changes: Pregnancy, menopause, and other hormonal changes can make gums more sensitive and susceptible to disease.
  • Chronic Illnesses: Conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can increase the risk of gum disease.
  • Medications: Certain medications can reduce saliva flow, which protects the gums, leading to a higher risk of gum disease.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Recognizing the symptoms of gum disease is crucial for early intervention. Common signs include:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums, especially when brushing or flossing
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums or longer-looking teeth
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Pain when chewing

Treatment Options for Gum Disease

At Rayner Dental Practice, we offer a range of treatments to manage and treat gum disease, tailored to the severity of the condition.

Non-Surgical Treatments

  1. Professional Dental Cleaning: During regular check-ups, our dental hygienists will remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. This helps to prevent and manage gingivitis.
  2. Scaling and Root Planing: This deep-cleaning procedure involves removing plaque and tartar from deep periodontal pockets and smoothing the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. It is typically performed under local anaesthesia.

Surgical Treatments

  1. Flap Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. During flap surgery, the gums are lifted back to remove tartar deposits. The gums are then sutured back into place to fit snugly around the teeth.
  2. Bone and Tissue Grafts: When gum disease has destroyed bone or gum tissue, grafts may be used to help regenerate lost structures. This can involve using natural or synthetic bone or tissue to support new growth.
  3. Guided Tissue Regeneration: This procedure stimulates the growth of bone and gum tissue that has been destroyed by periodontitis. A small piece of mesh-like material is inserted between the bone and gum tissue to allow the bone and connective tissue to regrow.

Maintenance and Prevention

After treatment, maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial to prevent the recurrence of gum disease. This includes:

  • Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing daily to remove plaque between teeth
  • Using an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce bacteria
  • Regular dental check-ups and cleanings


Gum disease is a serious condition that can have lasting effects on your oral and overall health if left untreated. At Rayner Dental Practice, we are committed to helping you achieve and maintain healthy gums through personalized care and advanced treatment options. If you suspect you may have gum disease or want to learn more about prevention, schedule an appointment with us today. Together, we can ensure your smile stays healthy and bright for years to come.

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