Periodontal (gum) disease is the fifth most prevalent health problem among Australians (AHMAC 2001). It affects the tissues and structures relating to, and supporting, teeth. Yet, we are sometimes unaware we have it.
Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that supports the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.
Whether your gum disease is stopped, slowed, or gets worse depends a great deal on how well you care for your teeth and gums each day. Working with your Bondi Dental dentist, you can halt and even reverse any gum disease you might have!
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is really two different but related things: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis – The milder form of gum disease is gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums created by plaque building up at the gum line. Symptoms of gingivitis include, sore, soft, swollen, or bleeding gums. Oftentimes the first sign of gingivitis is a sign of bleeding during brushing or flossing.
The good news is that at this stage of gum disease the nearby bone and teeth are not affected and gingivitis, if caught early, is extremely treatable.
If, however, gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to periodontitis.
Periodontal Disease – When gingivitis is not treated, periodontitis occurs and inflammation and infection spread to the structures that surround the teeth and hold them in place.
Common indicators of periodontitis are receding gums and the formation of pockets between the teeth and gums. Unfortunately, this creates additional opportunities for gum disease.
Untreated periodontitis results in shifting, loose teeth that can eventually fall out, or have to be removed by a dentist.
How Can I Identify Gum Disease?
There are some early signs to look for and you should visit a dentist immediately if you notice any of the following signs of gum disease:
- Blood on toothbrush or dental floss
- Red, tender or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Constant bad breath
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Loose teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of your partial dentures
What Gum Disease Treatments are Available?
Like many diseases, the best way to ‘treat’ gum disease is to avoid getting it in the first place. So your first line of defense is good at-home dental care including brushing twice a day and flossing at least once.
If your gum disease becomes more serious, the only way to cure it is to see a dentist. A dentist can treat bacteria, eliminate plaque, and restore your gums in case of more serious damage.
If gum disease becomes too pronounced, scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) may help, and in some cases unhealthy gum tissue can be scraped away and allowed to heal (curettage). Other approaches can include surgery and medication.
Your Bondi Dental dentist will work with you to determine which treatment method is best for your circumstances.
Active Maintenance Dental Program at Bondi Dental
At Bondi Dental, we believe in helping you keep your whole mouth in tip-top condition . We are pleased to invite you to join our Active Dental Maintenance Program (6-monthly dental check up, examination, scale and clean). Being part of our Active Maintenance Program only requires regular dental visits to examine your overall oral health condition, monitor the health of your gums, and professionally remove plaque build up and bacteria.