Gum Disease – Treating Periodontitis
At Titirangi Dental, we believe in treating your whole mouth. Great oral hygiene means protecting your gums as well as your teeth.
Are your gums constantly sore, swollen, red or bleeding? Maybe you’re experiencing tooth pain, sensitivity and bad breath. All of these are warning signs of periodontal disease, better known as gum disease. Periodontitis doesn’t just affect the foundations of your mouth. It can also contribute to tooth loss, heart attack, and even diabetes and premature births.
By treating and preventing your gum disease, our dental hygienists strive to improve your oral and overall health!
What Is gum disease?
Gum Disease, also known as gingivitis or periodontitis, is the inflammation of gum tissue caused by the build up of plaque and tartar around the teeth. Gingivitis is very common and may affect up to 70% of the population and Periodontitis affects around 30% of adults over 30 years of age.
Failure to spot gum disease early on could have serious consequences, since it’s one of the leading causes of tooth loss for adults. Luckily, there are several signs of gum disease that can help you catch it while it’s still in its early stages.
Do you have symptoms of Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a type of inflammation that can lead to deterioration and bone loss. Gum disease starts as gingivitis or general inflammation. If left untreated, this can quickly turn into periodontitis, which can damage or even destroy your jawbone in advanced cases.
Gum disease can be painless, so it is important to be aware of symptoms that may include:
- Swollen, red, tender or bleeding gums
- Receding Gums
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath or bad taste (Halitosis)
- Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
What causes Gum disease?
Gum disease starts when food debris mixes with saliva and bacteria-forming plaque that sticks on the surfaces of teeth. If dental plaque isn’t removed by brushing with toothpaste and flossing, it can become mineralized and form tartar, also known as calculus. Tartar is very hard and can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning. The plaque, tartar & bacteria, if not removed, will irritate the gums causing gingivitis. A build up of plaque may be caused by:
- Not brushing or flossing properly
- Not brushing or flossing regularly
- Not visiting your dentist or dental hygienist regularly (you can remove plaque, but only your dentist can remove tartar)
You can also be genetically susceptible to gum disease or be exposed to other risk factors such as illness, certain medications, hormonal changes, diabetes and smoking.
Treatment of gingivitis & periodontitis
Gingivitis if diagnosed early can often be treated by your dental hygienist or dentist with a professional de-scaling and maintained by good home care such as daily brushing & flossing.
Periodontitis is a more advanced form of gum disease. Which affects the gums, periodontal ligament & alveolar bone, potentially resulting in the loss of teeth.
Periodontitis can be treated with more invasive techniques like deep scaling the roots of your teeth or removing bacteria & plaque from beneath your gums. Periodontitis can also cause gum loss & bone loss through the mouth. If this occurs your dental professional may recommend you see a dental specialist known as a periodontist who can perform more advanced procedures to help regenerate bone & tissue you have lost.
Treatment & Prevention of gum disease at Titirangi Dental Centre
The best way to diagnose, prevent & treat gum disease is to visit our clinic in Titirangi. Regular dentist visits and home care can also be effective in fighting gingivitis and other early-stage gum diseases.
Prevention is better than cure. Book in to see one of our dentists to examine your teeth and gums and refer you appropriately to one of our three hygienists here at Titirangi dental Centre who can help treat gingivitis & periodontitis. They will also be able to discuss and educate you on a personalised oral homecare regime and advise you on an appropriate recall period.
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