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Does gum disease count as a dental emergency?

When it comes to dental problems that might represent an emergency condition it can sometimes be difficult to decide whether an immediate appointment is needed or if it would be ok to just visit your regular dentist to find out what the problem is. Things like gum disease and toothache can be difficult to diagnose during the early stages so it’s a good idea to speak to a dentist at the earliest opportunity, to try and stop any serious problems from developing. Let’s take a look at gum disease in a bit more detail so that you can decide what sort of treatment is needed to prevent further issues with dental health.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is a form of infection that normally develops because of poor oral hygiene; the problem occurs because the teeth are not brushed properly and this allows the plaque to build up around the gum line, this will gradually irritate the gum tissue and this will lead to inflammation and soreness eventually. If the problem is not identified and treated at the earliest opportunity, the inflamed tissue will be exposed to infection and because there are millions of bacteria in the mouth this will cause the gums to become bloody and painful. The first symptom of this kind of condition is usually some slight bleeding from around the teeth when they are being brushed; this does not normally come with any pain that would signify that there is a problem. Many people who develop this sort of problem will not even realise that there is something wrong with their dental health; either the early symptoms will be ignored or they will be disregarded because they are not accompanied by any pain. This allows the infection to become more aggressive without hindrance. There’s no need to panic if you do notice that there is some  blood after you have brushed your teeth, but you should mention it to your dentist when you get chance; this is a slow process but without the right treatment the infection will do serious damage to your dental health. With any sort of infection – medical or dental – it is best to get treatment as soon as possible because the condition is going to be easier to treat, and probably with a higher chance of success in the long-run.

Is gum disease a dental emergency?

It can be said that gum disease that is in its early stages will not constitute a dental emergency, however that does not mean that you can’t arrange an emergency appointment if you would like to. Dentists are used to treating all levels of problems, so there’s no reason why you should leave the condition untreated when there is help available twenty-four hours a day. Gum disease is not necessarily going to be extremely painful or difficult to begin with but it is usually easier to treat a mild condition, rather than waiting for it to become more aggressive further down the line.

Gum disease becomes an emergency problem when the infection spreads more deeply into the tissue and abscesses develop along the gum line. Abscesses – sometimes known as gum boils – appear on the gum tissue because the body is trying to flush out the infection. Periodontal abscesses are small swellings that occur as the gum tissue starts to pull away from the base of the teeth; this leaves a space where bacteria can gather and multiply easily, leading to a more difficult infection. The swellings are not going to go away by themselves, so dental treatment of some sort is definitely needed; the dentist will have to lance the boil to remove the infected fluid and then cut away any diseased tissue to allow for healthy regrowth from underneath. Antibiotics may also be needed if the infection has become more difficult, as this should stop it from spreading further into the body and affecting organ function. If the gums become very sore, inflamed, and bloody, and the tissue starts to pull away from the teeth, you should definitely consider this to be an emergency situation and refer it to a dentist at the first chance you get.

What if I don’t get treatment for gum disease?

If you don’t arrange treatment for gum disease right away it is unlikely to cause serious health problems but you should be aware that there can be more difficult consequences later on if treatment is not applied. Tooth loss is a very real possibility that occurs because the teeth are no longer stable in the sockets; as the tissue pulls away from the base of the teeth this will expose the socket, the periodontal fibres, and the gums to strong infection that will cause instability in the tooth. Over time, the tooth will become mobile in the sockets and they will not be able to function when it comes to biting and chewing food; this is also likely to be a relatively painful stage of the condition. At this point, the dentist will have no choice but to remove the affected teeth or they will fall out of their own accord; gum disease can be very damaging to dental health because it can include a number of teeth, not just one or two. The tissue surrounds all the teeth and this can lead to extensive tooth loss.

Without some sort of treatment, the gum infection can spread into the blood stream and this can lead to further problems with general health, not just the dental environment. If you notice other symptoms alongside the painful gums, such as dizziness or nausea, you should go straight to the hospital rather than the dental clinic because this condition needs to be treated by a doctor, not a dentist.

If you are worried about gum disease and you would like to arrange an appointment in the Kingston area of London, you should get in touch with the Pearl Dental Clinic; this surgery can provide twenty-four hour emergency appointments to help you get the help you need outside of normal working hours. Contact the reception team now to make a booking or just find out more about the services that are on offer.

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