Periodontal Disease

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is the inflammation and the infection of the gums. It is caused by plaque (bacteria) that builds up on teeth. The two main stages of gum disease are:

  1. The early stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis can usually be treated successfully by removal of the plaque and calculus, followed by thorough but gentle cleaning

  2. The advanced stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. As this is more advanced stage it can cause serious damage to teeth and the gums, and bone that support the teeth. As gum inflammation worsens, pockets start to form between the gum and the teeth. This may result in gums receding, and long term the teeth become loose and can fall out

Signs of periodontal disease

  • Red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums

  • Gums that have receded

  • Bad breath

  • Bad taste in the mouth

  • Loose teeth

Treatment of periodontal disease

Our dentists will treat your periodontitis at Gentle Care Dentistry. Treatment may include:

  • Using a probe, will perform a gum charting where we measure around all the gums and teeth to see how deep the gums are, and what condition they are in

  • Removing build-up of plaque and calculus (general clean)

  • Deposits of plaque and calculus on tooth roots and in deeper pockets beneath the gum line (greater than 4mm) are removed using instruments that leave the root surface clean and smooth. We recommend using a local anaesthetic to help prevent any discomfort during this procedure. This can take 1-2 appointments

  • Your dentist will provide you with instructions on how to improve your oral hygiene

  • After your first periodontal treatment, a 6-week complimentary review is needed to check how the gums are healing

  • A general clean and gum charting will be repeated every 3-months to see how the gums are healing

Side effects of treatment

There may be some side effects from receiving periodontal treatment including:

  • Pain during deep root planning. We try and minimise discomfort by using a local anaesthetic

  • Gum tenderness. We recommend using a very soft toothbrush and may provide a savacol mouth rinse for up to 2 weeks

  • Tooth sensitivity (using a sensitive toothpaste such as Sensodyne or Sensitive Pro Relief can help)

  • Gum shrinkage

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