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treatment for gum disease

Gum disease can be just as dangerous for your oral health. Find out more about what it means and how our dental team can help you avoid it.

Just seen hygienist after a 5 year gap. She was great. Very reassuring (I dont like going to the dentist). Very pleased with the result and the advise she gave. I won’t leave it another 5 years!

Julie Honney

Gum disease and dental education at Riverside


  • Experienced dentists and hygienists committed to your oral health

    At Riverside Dental, we want you to have the healthiest smile possible, and our knowledgeable team will support you with everything you need to achieve this.

  • Find out more about gum disease

    Gum disease is just as common as cavities and can have extremely serious consequences for your oral health. Our team can help you to keep gum disease at bay.

  • Bad breath causing you to feel self-conscious?

    We understand what causes bad breath and, more importantly, what you can do to stop it and keep yours smelling cool and fresh.

  • Improve your brushing and flossing technique

    How much attention do you really pay to how you brush and floss your teeth? Our knowledgeable team can educate you on the important of this habit and give you top tips to improve your technique and boost your oral health. 

  • Healthy eating

    What you eat can have a significant impact on your oral health. Our team can advise you which common foods cause dental problems, and which you should avoid. 

Gum disease

Gum disease is a progressive condition that will affect most people at some point during their lifetime. However, if it is detected early enough, it’s possible to reverse it completely. Gum disease occurs when plaque from the teeth isn’t removed properly using brushing and flossing and spreads onto the gums. The bacteria found in plaque causes irritation to the soft tissues, resulting in symptoms like redness, soreness and bleeding.

If gum disease is allowed to progress, it can be known as periodontitis. When it becomes severe, it can cause bad breath, abscesses, gum recession and tooth loss. Studies have also shown a link between periodontal disease and chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. 

Gum disease can be detected at your routine dental exams and if it is, you’ll probably be referred to your hygienist for a deep cleaning treatment that removes plaque on the teeth both above and below the gums. In the earliest stages, this can be sufficient to reverse the effects of gum disease. However, in many cases more invasive treatment is needed such as a scaling and root planning, or even the removal of some gum tissue. 

Hygienists are specially trained in the identification and treatment of gum diseases and will be able to provide the care that you need to keep your teeth and mouth in the best possible condition.

GUm disease


Am I at risk of getting gum disease?

Anyone can get gum disease, but there are some factors that make its development more likely. For example:

  • Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean. This makes it more likely that plaque will form and spread onto hard-to-reach areas of the mouth.

  • People have different bacteria in their mouth. If you have an abundance of bad bacteria, you could be more likely to get gum disease.

  • Pregnant women are more likely to get gum disease, which is thought to be due to hormonal changes.

  • If you have a systemic disease like diabetes, you may be more likely to develop gum disease.

  • Smokers are much more likely to suffer from gum disease

What can my hygienist do to help counteract gum disease?

There are a few things that your hygienist can do to help counteract gum disease and protect your teeth from further developments of the disease. These include:

  • Performing regular professional dental cleans, including cleaning below the gum line.

  • Helping you to understand the importance of a robust oral hygiene routine.

  • Supporting you in developing the best techniques for brushing and flossing, which is the best and most basic way of protecting your mouth from gum disease.

  • Educating you about making food choices and lifestyle habits that are good for your oral health.

Bad breath

Most people have had bad breath in the past, and chances are you will again, but when is bad breath more than just ‘morning breath’ and why do we get it? 

In the majority of cases, bad breath is the result of an accumulation of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria release gases which cause the odour that we associate with bad breath. It happens because any bacteria left in the mouth when we go to sleep have time to thrive. It’s for this reason that our breath will always smell worse in the morning if we have failed to clean our teeth properly the night before. The smell also usually gets stronger when we talk since the mouth becomes drier. 

Occasionally, bad breath can be caused by an underlying health problem like diabetes, a sinus infection, gastrointestinal issues or liver or kidney problems. Our experienced Norwich hygienists will be able to identify the cause of your bad breath and recommend techniques and treatments to help.

book a hygienist

appointment today

If you have questions about gum disease or any of the other topics listed here, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced Norwich dental team today by calling 01603 920 313.

What can i do

to prevent bad breath at home?

There are things that you can do at home that will help to reduce the likelihood that you will experience bad breath. Your Riverside Dental dentist will be keen to encourage you to:

  • Make sure you brush and floss your teeth properly.

  • See your dentist regularly for professional dental cleans and monitoring of your oral health.

  • Change your toothbrush regularly.

  • Stop smoking.

  • Drink lots of water.

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Healthy eating

Some of the most common dental problems are caused by the foods and drinks we consume. When we eat and drink, any sugars interact with the bacteria in our mouths to produce plaque which is the clear, sticky film that forms on our teeth. Bacteria found in plaque produce acids which then cause decay. However, original acids in the food and drink can also dissolve the enamel of our teeth – something which is called erosion. 

Telling whether or not a food or drink is good for our teeth isn’t always easy or possible. For example:

  • Labels on products can be unclear, such as saying ‘carbohydrate’ instead of ‘sugar’.

  • A product might say it has ‘no added sugars’, but actually contain high levels of naturally-occurring sugars.

Your hygienist can explain some of the most obvious ‘disguises’ used for unhealthy foods and teach you how to identify them accurately. They can also advise you if there are specific foods and drinks that are good for your oral health. 

Do I need to brush my teeth just after I have eaten?

Plaque can start to form on the teeth immediately after eating and will continue to form all day. Ideally, it would be best to brush our teeth as soon as we have finished eating, but we understand that this isn’t always possible. If you can’t, we strongly recommend that you chew some sugar-free gum. Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva around the mouth, helping to remove food particles that could contribute to plaque production. 

Brushing and flossing

Brushing and flossing are well-known as effective methods for keeping teeth clean and healthy. Nevertheless, many people fail to brush their teeth as often or as effectively as they should, while some people skip brushing and flossing altogether. The trouble is that a poor oral hygiene routine puts you at risk of a whole range of different dental problems, from decay to gum disease.  

Our hygienists are experienced at keeping teeth as clean as possible and they can provide you with valuable advice and guidance on how to improve your brushing and flossing techniques to maximise your oral health.

top tips

for brushing your teeth

  • You should brush your teeth at least twice every day, ideally after breakfast and again before you go to sleep.

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Firm varieties can actually damage your tooth enamel and gums.

  • Electric toothbrushes tend to be better at cleaning than manual varieties since they do much of the work for you!

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste.

  • Pay close attention to brushing near the gum line and cover all surfaces of the teeth.

  • Don’t forget your tongue!

top tips

for flossing your teeth

  • You can use traditional floss, interdental brushes or even a water flosser – they all do the same job, just pick what you find easier!

  • Make sure you pay attention to all gaps between the teeth and floss right up to the gum line.

  • Try and remember to floss once every day, ideally just before bed.

If you have questions about gum disease or any of the other topics listed here, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced Norwich dental team today by calling 01603 920 313.

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