Gentle, Modern,
Professional Dentistry

 

315 Margaret St Toowoomba 

4632 1374

Our Services

Gum Disease

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Gum disease or Periodontal disease describes a range of conditions that affect the supporting tissues for the teeth. The supporting tissues comprise both the surface tissues that can be seen in the mouth and also the deeper tissues of the bone and the ligament that connects the teeth to the bone.

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria. Bacteria form a ‘plaque’ which is a sticky, colourless film that forms on your teeth, particularly around the gum line. Other bacteria thrive deep in the gap between the gum and the tooth (the ‘pocket’). Some people are much more at risk of developing periodontal disease — smoking is one of the major risk factors. Other conditions such as diabetes, stress, pregnancy and various medications can all be contributing factors.

In the vast majority of cases the progression of gum disease can be arrested with appropriate care. Management of gum disease becomes more difficult and less predictable the more advanced the disease. Therefore, the sooner periodontitis is diagnosed and treated the better. Regular dental examinations are important to check for the presence of gum disease.

The cause of gum disease is bacteria. To manage it, the bacteria must be reduced to a level the body's defence mechanisms can handle. Treatment classically involves:

  • Achieving the best possible home care
  • Professional cleaning of the teeth above and below the gum line (into the pockets) to remove the plaque and hard deposits (calculus / tartar) and regular reviews
  • Trying to remove risk factors such as smoking.

Gum disease causes permanent damage to the supporting tissues; therefore the aim of treatment is to stop the progression of the disease through controlling the bacteria. This is an ongoing, lifelong activity.

Prevention is best. To a large extent periodontitis can be prevented by good oral hygiene and early intervention when problems are identified. See your dentist regularly.