Healthy gums are the foundation to a healthy smile
Do you have red, swollen or bleeding gums? they could be sign of gum disease. A major cause of adult tooth loss is advanced gum disease (periodontitis). Gum disease treatment has been linked with general health conditions such as diabetes, strokes, cardiovascular disease, poor pregnancy outcomes and even dementia. But Fear not, you have come to the right place. As at Holistic Dental Melbourne CBD, prevention of dental disease is our focus. We have a robust active oral health maintenance protocol, which will help you to stay at the top of your oral health Care. Through ongoing education and professional care, we will work together to deliver you an effective home care routine, and with regular maintenance appointments, help keep your teeth and gums healthy and breath fresh.
Are you at a risk of developing gum disease?
While gum disease usually begins with a failure to maintain good oral hygiene there are some other factors that can affect the health of your gums. These include:
- Age: Studies show that older people have the highest prevalence of gum disease. Over 60 per cent of the 75+ years age group were cases of periodontitis.
- Smoking: If you need another reason to quit smoking, try gum disease. Not only has smoking been shown to be one of most significant factors in gum disease, it can also lower the chances of successful treatment.
- Tooth Grinding: If you grind your teeth, it can put extra stress and force on your teeth’s supporting tissues, which may increase the speed by which they are weakened by gum disease.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes in girls and women can make the gums more sensitive, which in turn may make it easier for gum disease to develop.
- Stress: stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight infection, it can also slow down the treatment of gum disease.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, partly because diabetes slows circulation, which means that there is more time for the bacteria to colonise or take hold. If you’re a diabetic as well as a smoker, the situation is even worse. Studies show that diabetic smokers aged 45 and over, are 20 times more likely to develop periodontitis than those who don’t smoke.
- Medications: Conditions such as cancer and HIV/AIDS and the medications used to treat them can suppress the immune system and increase your risk of gum disease.
How does Gum disease start and progress?
It begins through bacteria, mucus and other particles forming a sticky colourless film on your teeth, which is known as ‘plaque’.
If plaque is not effectively removed through proper daily brushing and flossing, it can harden to form a tartar (or ‘calculus’). This tartar is continuously coated with plaque. The problem with tartar is that it can’t be removed through normal brushing. In fact, the presence of tartar makes it harder to brush and floss effectively. The plaque harbours acid producing bacteria which create a havoc on your gums and teeth. As a result, it becomes easier for the acids released by the bacteria in your mouth to begin breaking down the tooth enamel.
The mildest form of gum disease is known as ‘gingivitis’. The symptoms of this include swollen and inflamed gums, occasional bleeding when brushing your teeth, and some noticeable odours. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more serious condition called ‘periodontitis’, where pockets between the tooth and the gums are there is bone loss around the tooth. When these pockets are, the gums may begin to recede, which can result in the teeth becoming loose, falling out or needing to be extracted.
Gum disease often commences in areas of the mouth that are hard to clean, such as your back teeth, along the gum lines, and around fillings or where there’s been other dental work.
What is the treatment of gum disease?
Good home care routine along with regular professional dental cleaning can help prevent gum disease. Like many conditions, early intervention to treat gum diseases can ensure the longevity of your teeth. If you have swollen or bleeding gums or your teeth feel loose, see your Holistic Melbourne dentist at the earliest.
Our dentists will first examine your gums with a probe to measure the spaces between the tooth and gum and may do some radiographs to check the bone support. This will determine the health of your gums and supporting structures. Followed by
- Removing the plaque build-up using special dental instruments.
- Conduct ‘scaling’ – which means cleaning the tooth surface from above the gum line and in any shallow pockets that may have formed between the tooth and the gum, carefully and thoroughly removing all plaque and tartar.
- This would be followed by instructions of tooth cleaning techniques relevant to your mouth and developing a personalised home and professional oral care regime to follow on.
If you have more advanced gum disease, other treatment may be required such as:
- Root planing – This is a multiple visit process that’s designed to remove toxins and bacteria from the root surfaces of the tooth, usually done under a local anaesthetic. You may need to make several visits to your Holistic Dental practitioner, with different areas of the mouth being cleaned each time.
- Filling replacement – If a filling is contributing to the gum disease, this may need to be reshaped or replaced.
- Surgery – If inflammation and deep pockets remain after scaling and planning, you may require ‘flap’ surgery, which involves lifting back the gums to remove the tartar.
Book in for an Initial Dental Consultation
Often visiting a dentist is not on the top of someone’s ‘To Do’ list but there are times when you need to act fast. Early intervention to treat gum diseases can ensure long lasting teeth. If you have swollen or bleeding gums or your teeth feel loose, we recommend you call us on (03)96622288 or alternatively fill the book now, for us to get in touch.
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