Untreated gum disease will ruin your smile and put your health at risk. Get your gums screened and treated by our expert team.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the inflammation of the gums and supporting structures due to bacterial build up.
Bacteria exists naturally in the mouth and can increase in number due to food deposits on the teeth and gum line. If not regularly removed through brushing, flossing, and other oral hygiene techniques, the bacteria can form plaque. This plaque will cause the gums to swell, bleed, and even become infected.
Gum disease has two distinct stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is an inflammatory disease of soft gum tissue that does not affect the underlying bone. This is one of the most common dental diseases across all age groups. But the good news is it can be healed with the right treatment!
Periodontitis is a progression from gingivitis to a severe form of gum disease. It causes not only an inflammation of the gums, but also the loss of supporting bone around the teeth. This can lead to wobbly teeth, shrinking gums, and tooth loss. The treatment tends to be more complex and ongoing, but we can still achieve very good outcomes!
Gum disease is a complex disease and has a multitude of factors that can make you susceptible. The most common factors that increase the risk of gum disease are:
Plaque build-up on the gum margin
Certain prescription medications
Our dentists will discuss the risk factors that apply to you, and how we can change them to be in your favour.
“20% of all Australians over the age of 35 have moderate to severe periodontitis and this increases dramatically with age.”
The most common symptoms of gum disease are:
Red, puffy, or swollen gums
Soft, spongy-feeling gums
Bad breath or a persistent bad taste in your mouth
Movement or drifting of teeth
Many patients experience these common symptoms, but it is also possible to have advanced gum disease without any of these symptoms.
At Better Dental we screen everybody for gum disease! We do this by checking the gums carefully with special assessment techniques and dental x-rays, so we can detect problems early on and treat gum disease before it causes significant dental and more general health problems.
The great news is that, with the right treatment, gingivitis can be completely cured! After a diagnosis is made, the treatment focuses on modifying any risk factors in your favour, thoroughly cleaning your gums and teeth with our special tools, and teaching you how to make sure that gingivitis is a thing of the past!
If you have periodontitis and the bone is affected, we can stop it in its tracks and heal your gums. The treatment focuses on eliminating risks, treating the active disease by stopping the bone loss, and regenerating bone where possible. Your gums will feel healthy and comfortable again! By keeping on top of your gum health with regular periodontal supportive treatment at our practice along with your prescribed oral hygiene regime at home, we will keep your teeth and your smile healthy for decades to come!
Let us help answer the most common questions you might have.
Very often it is a sign of gum disease but it doesn't have to be! Sometimes bleeding gums can have other causes and our dentist can assess why your gums are bleeding.
Unlike other inflammatory diseases in the body, antibiotics can only reduce the gum infection for a short period of time. In rare cases our dentists may use antibiotics to assist during the active periodontal treatment. However, antibiotics alone cannot reach the bacteria under the gum. This is because they are organised in a thick, solid coat of plaque stuck to the tooth root. It’s like trying to break through a solid brick wall with a toothpick!
Our periodontal treatment is physical treatment with special instruments that destroys the coat of plaque and cleans the tooth root thoroughly, which allows the gums to heal.
Bacteria from the diseased gums can enter the bloodstream and can lead to low levels of inflammation in the blood vessels and body. This increases the risk for heart disease and eventually heart attacks and strokes.
Diabetes and gum disease can adversely affect each other! Active gum disease can make your diabetes hard to control and worsen the complications associated with diabetes. In addition, uncontrolled diabetes can make gum disease worse.
By treating your gum disease, we are also helping the management of your diabetes!
It doesn't seem fair, right? Every person is different in the risk factors they have. Some of these risk factors we can control and improve, like improving our oral hygiene, quitting smoking, managing stress, and resolving general health problems. While others simple come down to genetics. Gum disease is very complex! The latest research is uncovering more and more about the complex connections between gum disease and other illnesses in the body.
Our dentists and therapists love keeping abreast of the latest research!
Pregnancy hormones and lifestyle changes due to changes to your oral health routines and eating habits can all increase the risk of gum disease.
The treatment is not only safe but crucial for you and your growing baby. Come in for your regular check-up and clean, and make sure that gum disease does not become an issue during your pregnancy!