Yeoville Dentist owner and head dental surgeon Dr Ayesha Kadwa explains how you can prevent and cure gum disease.
I was inspired to put this article together after seeing a patient who has advanced gum disease.
His teeth are loose.
He has a lot of pain.
He can’t eat well.
He is afraid of losing his teeth.
This is something I see way too often, and it is my mission to educate people regarding this. I do not want to extract anymore teeth than I absolutely have to.
Gum disease is a leading cause of losing teeth and is TOTALLY PREVENTABLE!
What is gum disease?
It is when dirt and plaque sit on teeth for too long and causes the gums to get swollen, next the gums will start to bleed, then the bone that holds the teeth will start to breakdown slowly. This results in loose teeth. Once teeth start to loosen up, the gum disease is advanced, and we may not be able to save these teeth.
How do I know I have gum disease?
Check your teeth often. Your gums should be light pink – if it looks red or swollen it means that gum disease may be starting.
If you have any dirt or plaque stuck to your teeth that cannot be removed with a toothbrush.
If your teeth are loose or if food gets stuck between your teeth when you eat.
If you suffer from gum pain.
If your mouth has a bad smell or bad taste.
If your gums bleed, especially when you brush.
When do I see the dentist?
If you have any of the above symptoms, book an appointment with your dentist.
In general, you should be visiting your dentist every 6 months so that they can see if there are any issues and treat them before they become worse and more difficult to treat.
Prevention is better than cure.
I see a lot of patients, who first suffer pain and then realise something is wrong. However, they didn’t visit the dentist when these symptons were minor because they thought the problem would go away or they spent hundreds of Rands on home remedies, thinking they would be able to treat the problem themselves.
Dentists are special doctors, who are trained for many years to specifically treat teeth and gum issues. We know what to do. If you have a problem, make a plan to see a specialist.
The longer you prolong the issue, the more damage is caused. The gum disease becomes harder and harder to treat.
In the worst case scenario, the patient may lose teeth because they can’t be saved.
How does the dentist treat gum disease?
We assess the teeth and gum disease. We treat the issues based on your dental health condition.
In general, we will clean the teeth and prescribe medication and a mouth rinse, if required.
We will also advise the patient on oral hygiene and prevention of gum disease and other dental problems in future.
Dental treatments won’t be the same for every patient – we will custom make a treatment plan based on your symptoms.
Dental health is very important to me because I see so many patients who do not make the effort to look after their smile.
Gum disease is a very common issue, that causes a lot of personal grief.
You lose time at work and with your family doing the things that matter because you are in pain, you lose the joy that comes from eating food because it hurts to eat.
I hope this education makes a difference in your life… I want it to motivate you and increase your quality of life for the long term.
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