What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
The term “periodontal”means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease (also known as periodontitis and gum disease) is a common inflammatory condition which affects the supporting and surrounding soft tissues of the tooth; also the jawbone itself when in its most advanced stages.
Periodontal disease is most often preceded by gingivitis which is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. Gingivitis occurs when there is a build-up of plaque and tartar along the gum line. A bacterial infection affects the gums when the toxins contained in plaque begin to irritate and inflame the gum tissues. Often the only sign (if any) is occasional bleeding when brushing. Once this bacterial infection colonizes in the gum pockets between the teeth, it becomes much more difficult to remove and treat. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that eventually leads to the destruction of the connective tissue and jawbone. If left untreated, it can lead to shifting teeth, loose teeth and eventually tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the developed world and should always be promptly treated.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Gum disease is often COMPLETELY PAINLESS, and sometimes the only warning signs may be bleeding gums, bad breath, receding gums or in more severe cases, teeth becoming loose. More often than not, patients have no idea there is even a problem!
Should I be concerned?
If you suspect that you may have gum problems, the first step is to book in for a consultation with one of our dentists. A thorough assessment of your teeth and gums will allow us to determine if there is an issue of concern.
It is important to note that smoking, diabetes, certain illnesses and hormonal issues can cause gum disease to progress at a much more rapid rate.
Can it be treated?
If you are experiencing occasional bleeding when brushing, you may likely have mild gingivitis. Luckily, this is completely reversible and can be managed with a home care program of correct brushing and flossing, along with regular visits to our friendly dentists.
More advanced cases once identified can also be treated, however the damage done in Periodontitis is usually irreversible. The focus becomes on preventing the progression of the disease and minimising any further damage.
Spring Orchid Dental has a dedicated team of dentists who specialise in looking after general gum health and treating gum disease issues, they spend the time to carefully and thoroughly scale and clean the teeth and gums and provide oral care advice as needed.