The most common gum conditions we deal with can broadly be divided into two categories:
Video: Periodontal Therapy Explained
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is characterised by inflammatory changes which include swelling, redness, and bleeding from the gums often notices when brushing or flossing. These changes are usually reversible, but it is important to note that untreated gingivitis often leads to periodontitis.
What is Periodontitis?
In periodontitis, the above changes are accompanied by destructive changes which may include recession of the gum, and loss of bony support of teeth. The later stages of periodontitis are characterised by recurrent gum abscesses, mobility of teeth and ultimately loss of these teeth if left untreated. It is also important to note that Periodontal disease has been linked to multiple other systemic conditions including diabetes, heart disease and other systemic conditions.
How would I know if I have gum disease?
Regular dental examinations are the best way to detect early signs of gum problems. During all initial and routine dental examinations (check-ups) we carry out a periodontal screening which involves assessing the clinical appearance of your gums as well as assessing gum probing depths around each tooth.
If the periodontal screening indicates the presence of gum problems, we may recommend a more specific periodontal examination which involves taking measurements of gum levels and depths at 6-points around each tooth. This is supplemented by x-rays of your teeth which enable us to determine bone levels around each tooth.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis are bacterial mediated diseases. The changes we see are a result of chemicals produced by bacteria and the immune response mounted by your body against these bacteria. The primary aim of periodontal treatment is the removal of these bacterial deposits and enabling easier cleaning around your teeth and gums.
A really important part of treatment is good home care measures to enable the removal of bacterial plaque on a daily basis.
Clinical treatment usually starts with the removal of hard and soft deposits on your teeth that facilitate the accumulation of disease-causing bacteria. This will be carried out above the gum line and also beneath the gum in areas where pockets have been created by the gums detaching from teeth and bone recession.
In certain situations, surgical periodontal therapy may be required to treat more severe areas or areas that are non-responsive to initial therapy.
We also look at other contributory factors that affect gum disease such as systemic diseases, your medication and habits like smoking.
We work closely with periodontal specialists and can refer you to a Periodontist for treatment if required.
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