Gum Disease Maintenance and Periodontics
At Thirroul Dental Care, our dentists will assess your gum health, and give you the tools and information to keep your gums healthy and prevent periodontal or gum disease.
Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, attacks the supporting tissues and bones around the tooth. The word 'periodontal' actually means 'surrounding a tooth'. Gum disease is reasonably common, often present without your knowledge, can vary greatly in severity and is the major cause of tooth loss in adults.
The disease has two stages:
Gingivitis is where the gums are inflamed and bleed on probing but the bone is not affected. As plaque, a form of bacteria, accumulates around your teeth and gum line, the bacteria begin to attack the soft supporting tissues - your gums.
Common symptoms are:
- red, sore and inflamed gums
- Bad Breath
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
Gingivitis can be easily treated. To manage it, the bacteria must be reduced to a level the body’s defense mechanisms can handle.
Treatment classically involves:
- Achieving the best possible home care
- Professional cleaning of the teeth above and below the gum line (into the pockets) to remove the plaque and hard deposits (calculus / tartar),
- Regular reviews
- Trying to remove risk factors such as smoking.
It is very important to halt gum disease at this stage. The next, more severe stage of gum disease is periodontitis.
This is where the bacteria penetrate deeper into the gums, attacking the supporting ligament and bone structure that holds the tooth in place. If left untreated, tooth loss can occur. There are varying degrees of periodontal disease.
Some people are much more at risk of developing periodontal disease — smoking is one of the major risk factors. Other conditions such as diabetes, stress, pregnancy and various medications can all be contributing factors. In some cases referral to a gum specialist or periodontist may be required. Most of the time, periodontal disease is preventable.
Visit one of our dentists, who will examine your gums as part of a normal dental check-up. X-rays are often needed to help diagnose any gum problems. Good dental hygiene is one of the most important factors in preventing gum disease. Our dentists will show you proper brushing and flossing techniques that will help ensure healthy teeth and gums. Treatment involves careful, deep cleaning of the teeth to remove the cause of the problem. This can be done with local anaesthetic.