What is Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)?
Periodontal disease or “Gum Disease” is inflammation and infection of the gums. It is caused by plaque, a thick sticky film of bacteria that builds up on the teeth. Over time, thick layers of plaque and bacteria can solidify to form hard lumps of tartar beneath the gums. The earliest stage of gum disease is called Gingivitis. Gingivitis is treatable and preventable by regular brushing and flossing at home and regular removal of plaque and calculus by a dental hygienist or dentist.
The next stage of gum disease is called Periodontitis. Advanced gum disease affects the gums and bone that supports the teeth. As the gum inflammation worsens, deep gum pockets form around the teeth and the bone shrinks away. As a result, the teeth can become loose, fall out or require extraction by a dentist.
What is the treatment for Gum Disease?
If your dentist has identified you as having gum disease or being “at risk” of gum disease, we may recommend Deep Cleaning in conjunction with Laser Periodontal Therapy. Deep cleaning with laser technology is used to treat the teeth and gums affected by gum disease. The laser allows us to target and remove harmful bacteria, plaque and tartar from beneath the gum in addition to traditional techniques.
At this appointment, we will numb the area requiring deep cleaning. This will ensure that you are comfortable throughout the process. A combination of laser and and other instruments will be used to remove the tartar and bacteria to leave the root surface clean and smooth. Your gums will then have a chance to start the healing process.
At the end of your deep cleaning appointment we will provide you with a complimentary After Care Package, including the appropriate floss, piksters, mouthrinse and toothpaste.
Can Gum Disease be fixed?
Gum disease is a chronic condition which unfortunately requires ongoing treatment to maintain the health of your tissues once stabilised. It is possible that deep cleaning will be required more than once over the years. If active and acute gum disease is present, our dentists and hygienists may recommend more regular hygiene visits until the area is controlled.
We will evaluate the results at a review visit. If the gums have responded well and oral hygiene is good, a program to maintain your oral health will be developed. This is called the maintenance phase.
How can I manage my Gum Disease?
Equally as important as professional cleaning is your cleaning at home. Brushing twice daily and using floss and interdental brushes (Piksters) removes plaque which is the source of gum disease.
Our dentists and dental hygienists will help you to establish a good at-home routine and will ensure that your brushing and interdental cleaning is effective to ensure maximum plaque removal. It is very important if you have been identified as being at-risk or having gum disease that the bacteria causing the condition is cleaned away twice a day.
If you have any problems, concerns or questions about gum disease, please do not hesitate to contact us any time on (03) 9826 1725.
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