Gum disease poses a much bigger oral health threat than many people assume.
What may begin as mere inflammation or tenderness can escalate to the point that it contributes to bone loss, tooth decay, and general diseases of the body.
Gum disease affects most people at some stage in their life. Moderate or severe periodontitis (gum disease) is present in 22.9 per cent of the Australian population.
Periodontitis is strongly linked to age, with older generations having a much higher prevalence of periodontitis than younger people
Knowing the symptoms and prevention methods along with regular visits to your dentist will help you avoid or treat periodontitis before it gets out of control. If it does get out of control, you can work with us here at DentArana to bring it to bay.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection that spreads through soft tissue and into the underlying bone structure. The early phase is gingivitis, which is usually identified by gums that are red, swollen and may bleed under the pressure of brushing or flossing. If not treated, gingivitis can become periodontitis. The symptoms of this latter stage are:
- Persistent bad breath
- Receding gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Enlarged gum pockets around your teeth
- Loose teeth
Periodontitis can lead to tooth extraction and bone loss in the jaw.
If you do have serious gum disease, curing it requires a combination of dental care from DentArana, and increased oral hygiene care at home.
Take our Gum Disease Risk Quiz
Unhealthy gums don’t always call for surgical treatment. Mild gum disease can be treated by less extreme means. Changes like improving the level of your home care (i.e. brushing and flossing more regularly and more often), giving up smoking, and improving your diet can improve your existing gum health while also reducing your risk of future disease.
For more advanced stages of gum disease, your dentist may prescribe medication. Prescription grade antimicrobial mouthwash, oral antibiotics, and enzyme suppressants can be prescribed to eliminate bacteria and enzymes that break down gum tissue.
Other medications, like antiseptic chips, antibiotic gel and microspheres, work hand-in-hand with a non-surgical option, deep cleaning, to control bacteria and reduce periodontal pockets.
Deep cleaning is a two part process of dental scaling and root planing. Dental scaling is performed by removing the plaque, tartar, and biofilm build-up from the surface of your teeth and beneath the gum line. Once this procedure is completed, the root surface is scaled and smoothed as part of root planing.
This allows gum tissue to reattach and prevents future plaque, tartar, and biofilm development, thus protecting against further gum disease. Dental scaling and root planing can be performed as solo treatments or in advance of surgery.
Sometimes, in extreme cases, surgical treatment is the only way to completely eradicate infection. For instance, if inflammation and deep pockets in the gums persist after deep cleaning, your dentist may recommend flap surgery.
This surgery involves removing tartar that cannot be reached with scaling or root planing. After the procedure, the tissue will be tightly fitted to heal snugly against the teeth, leaving less room for bacteria and tartar to take hold.
When severe periodontitis has caused bone or gum tissue loss, grafting will be recommended alongside flap surgery. Using either a synthetic or natural materials, bone or gum tissue will be placed to stimulate replenishment in the damaged areas.
Guided tissue regeneration may also be performed, in which a small piece of mesh-like material is placed between the bone and gum tissue to allow proper regrowth of bone and connective tissue.
Obviously, these treatments can be quite invasive, so you want to do everything you can, at home, to keep your gums healthy!
What You Can Do to Help
Precise and thorough homecare is the key to keeping periodontal disease from re-occurring. Your dentist or dental hygienist will spend time with you making sure you understand and implement proper brushing and flossing techniques at home.
He or she may also recommend products like prescription-strength antimicrobial mouthwashes to help reduce bacteria in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.
In addition to not smoking, which inhibits the healing process, your dentist will recommend keeping a close eye on your periodontal health with more frequent checkups and cleaning appointments. When dealing with periodontal disease, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and you do most of your prevention at home.
DentArana Is Your Partner In Health
DentArana provides trusted dental service in Arana Hills. Our goal is to make quality dental care affordable, and help you achieve maximum oral and overall health! We offer late and Saturday hours!
New Patients Specials
- Pay No Gap : NO GAP for Exam, Clean and Scale (with any health insurance) for under 17
- No Health Insurance : Only $99 for Exam, Clean and Scale (under 17’s)