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Is gum disease a dental emergency?

Some dental emergencies can be difficult to diagnose during the early stages, particularly if the symptoms are not particularly painful or noticeable to begin with; however, emergency treatment can still be required in some situations that don’t necessarily seem like they are extremely damaging. Let’s take a look at gum disease in some more detail; to help you decide whether you need to see a dentist in an immediate fashion, rather than visiting your regular dentist.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is a dental infection that is quite common among adults in the UK; however, it can often go ignored for some time because the initial symptoms are not always noticeable or even painful to begin with. In the early stages, gum disease tends to flare up with painless symptoms, such as slight bleeding from around the base of the teeth after they have been brushed; the tissue does not usually become sore or inflamed, so many people overlook or ignore the problem when it first occurs. Without treatment during the early stages, the infection can become more aggressive and the stability of the teeth can be affected later on. Infection of any kind tends to respond better to early treatment when it is applied, so it’s a good idea to report the early symptoms to a dentist as soon as you get chance.

Experts recommend that you attend a yearly appointment with your dentist to get your dental health assessed; this will help you to avoid long-term problems with gum disease or tooth decay because treatment can be applied at the earliest opportunity. If you would like to make regular appointments with a particular clinic, you will have to be registered with the surgery so that all your information is already in the system when you come to make a booking. This could really benefit you if you have regular problems with your dental health and there may be emergency appointments provided to help with trauma or symptoms that flare up outside of normal working hours.

Is this a dental emergency?

In the first stages, gum disease is not something that requires emergency treatment but that does not mean that you can’t visit the dentist at short notice if you are worried about the dental infection that has developed. Dentists are used to treating all kinds of dental problems, so there’s no reason to wait until your problem becomes much more difficult before you speak to a professional about it; treatment is available twenty-four hours a day.

Even though gum disease is not a dental emergency initially, it can deteriorate to the point where immediate treatment is going to be needed; this usually means that gum boils – periodontal abscesses – have started to form around the base of the teeth, as a result of the infection. These swellings are indicative of infection that has moved more deeply into the tissue and they are not going to get better without proper dental treatment. The dentist will have to lance the boils and remove the tissue to make sure that the infection does not flare up again; this should be able to stop the boils from recurring at a later date. If the infection has become much more aggressive, the dentist may recommend a course of antibiotics to get the problem under control; this may not be necessary in every case but it could be needed if you have been living with gum disease for some time.

If you think that your gum disease might have deteriorated to the point where emergency treatment is required, you should get in touch with the Pearl Dental Clinic; a surgery located in the Kingston area of London that can provide twenty-four hour appointments. Contact the reception team now to make an appointment at short notice or just to find out more about the services that are on offer.

What if this problem is not treated?

If gum disease is not treated for some time, it is likely that tooth loss is going to be the result of the infection that has started to penetrate deeply into the tissue. People who live with gum disease for an extended period of time will typically experience a lot of tooth loss because the tissue surrounds all the teeth in the mouth, not just one or two. Tooth loss occurs because the gum tissue starts to pull away from the base of the teeth as it deteriorates; this leaves the supporting structure exposed to the bacteria and this causes instability within the tooth. The affected teeth will no longer be able to hold themselves up in the socket and they will start to wobble painfully whenever pressure is put onto them to bite and chew. At some stage, the teeth will be beyond repair and the dentist will have no choice but to remove them so that the infection can be treated accordingly; any number of teeth may be affected by this problem and multiple extractions may be required to get the problem under control. Without a number of extractions, the teeth will break down to the point where they fall out of the socket of their own accord, which is likely to be much more painful than a routine extraction.

You should also remember that gum disease can move further into the body and the bacteria may spread into the blood stream if the condition goes untreated for some time; this can lead to blood poisoning – a problem that can be life-threatening in some circumstances. Although it is unlikely that gum disease will lead to something serious like this, you should be on the lookout for further symptoms if you have been living with long-term gum disease. Symptoms such as dizziness, fever, and nausea could indicate blood poisoning and this is not a condition that should be left ignored for some time. If you start to feel unwell generally, you should report this to a doctor rather than a dentist because medical treatment will be required; a dentist won’t be able to help if your situation takes a turn for the worse.

Pearl Dental Clinic is open 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm. You can book an appointment by calling us on 0208 547 9997 or emailing us or booking an appointment online

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