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Periodontal gum care is vital for healthy teeth

If you maintain a high standard of oral hygiene, you will usually prevent periodontal (gum) disease. However, if we spot any of the signs of periodontal disease, we will recommend appropriate treatment as quickly as possible. At Station Square Dental in Oakleigh we offer a range of periodontal treatments to ease your discomfort.

What is periodontal disease?

There are many different kinds of bacteria, mucus and other particles in the mouth which stick to the teeth and form plaque. This material is removed when you brush and floss your teeth regularly. When the plaque is left on the teeth, it hardens to become tartar. Brushing alone cannot remove tartar: you must see a dentist or hygienist for a thorough clean.

Tartar on the teeth causes gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. This is when the bacteria in the tartar and plaque have spread to the gums and caused irritation and damage.

Signs of periodontal disease

The common signs that patients notice with gum disease include swollen, red, tender gums that bleed on brushing or flossing, a bad taste in the mouth or persistent bad breath, pus around the gum line, or teeth beginning to move causing gaps between teeth.

Gingivitis is the milder form of gum disease, and you can usually reverse it with twice-daily flossing and brushing and regular dental cleans.

However, if you ignore the signs of gingivitis, it can progress to become much more harmful. Periodontitis is the advanced form of gum disease, where the gums pull away from the teeth, the spaces left become infected, and the body begins to fight this infection. This battle between your body and the infection begins to break down the bone and tissue, and eventually the teeth will become loose and will have to be removed. Ouch!

Causes of periodontal disease

While gum disease is essentially caused by tartar build-up from inadequate dental hygiene, some factors heighten your risk of developing it. These include:

•  Smoking

•  Diabetes

•  A family history of gum disease, implying a genetic predisposition

•  Some serious illnesses and the necessary treatments (chemotherapy, for example)

•  Hormonal changes

Treatment for periodontal disease

The simplest treatment for periodontal issues is de-scaling and cleaning the teeth. If you suspect you may be developing gingivitis, make an appointment with us today so we can treat and prevent the progression of the infection.

If gingivitis has become severe and progressed to periodontitis, options include root surface debridement. This treatment cleans the gums and roots of the teeth well under the surface of the gums. De-scaling and root debridement can be used together with antibiotic therapy to treat the very painful symptoms of periodontitis.