Dental implants can make a smile look fabulous – I know I have them. However, if you are just thinking about getting them, you may have a lot of questions. You may be wondering how smoking affects implants, whether or not wine will stain them, if they can be whitened or other concerns. I also know from experience that it can be intimidating to ask some of these questions to your dentist. In my dental implant blog, I am going to answer the questions that can be hard to ask. I hope you find the info you need in this blog and that it guides you to the right decision about dental implants. Thanks for reading!
Gum disease is all too common in Australia, with some 30% of the population living with a moderate to severe form of the condition. As you may already know, gingivitis is about the most common form of gum disease. This inflammation of the gums is generally plaque-induced, although the accumulation of plaque can largely be avoided with good oral hygiene. Your dentist can remove calculus (hardened, calcified plaque), which also manages the bacteria triggering your body's inflammatory response. Gingivitis is a fairly slow, progressive condition, which is why it can be alarming when you suddenly start displaying pronounced signs of gingivitis that appears to have developed extremely quickly.
Acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) is a form of gingivitis, although it differs from the more common plaque-induced form of the condition. Oral bacteria still plays a role, but ANUG is an opportunistic infection, and so it can strike in someone with a compromised immune system. This means that someone with an existing autoimmune disease can be more susceptible to ANUG. It doesn't exclusively affect people with a compromised immune system, and anyone can conceivably develop ANUG.
Signs of ANUG
The signs of ANUG are similar to advanced periodontal disease, although the advancement seems to occur incredibly quickly. Your gums will become swollen and sensitive and will bleed easily. Even simply brushing your teeth can result in a surprising amount of bleeding. The condition can be destructive to your hard and soft oral tissues. If untreated, it will impact your oral health in the same way as any periodontal disease. The tissues supporting your teeth will deteriorate, leading to destabilisation, and even the ultimate loss of your teeth. The infection can also spread to surrounding tissues in your mouth.
Your gums will be thoroughly irrigated, and any compromised gingival tissues will be removed. Depending on the severity of your infection, you may be prescribed antibiotics, but this isn't always a necessity. If oral hygiene (or a lack thereof) was a contributing factor, your dentist will discuss the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Ongoing use of a mouthwash or rinse may be recommended. If an existing autoimmune condition played a role in the onset of your ANUG, your dentist may suggest that you talk to your doctor to ensure that your condition is being appropriately managed.
The rapid onset of ANUG can be alarming, so if it appears that you've developed a speedy and severe case of gingivitis, you may in fact have acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis and will need to see your dentist. Contact a dental office like Whitehills Dental Practice to learn more.