Gum disease: A highly preventable and treatable condition when detected and treated early before it progresses
A healthy, beautiful smile is timeless. It looks good on everybody, regardless of age. And by partnering with Smile in Style, we can prevent the conditions that lead to tooth loss. You keep your complete, confident, and functional smile for life.
Along with dental decay, periodontal (gum) disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. Fortunately, our team in Moonee Ponds, Victoria, works with patients to keep the tissues that surround and support the teeth healthy. As a progressive condition, gum disease can also be halted before irreversible damage occurs. When detected and addressed in its earlier stages, the effects of periodontal disease may even be reversed.
Gum disease primarily refers to inflamed gums. Untreated, the disease erodes the supportive bone. The biggest culprit is the buildup of destructive bacterial plaque. Toxins within the plaque and your body’s inflammatory response contribute to gingival inflammation, infection, and a breakdown of the soft and hard tissues that support our teeth.
Healthy gums are firm, not overly red, and they do not bleed or feel tender when you brush or otherwise touch them. Gums affected by the earliest form of periodontal disease (gingivitis) may bleed when you brush or floss. They may look inflamed, redder-than-usual and swollen. These changes occur as a result of plaque at the gum line. When you do not consistently or adequately clean your teeth, bacteria feed off lingering starches and sugars. The resulting bacterial film produces toxins and irritates the gums. The good news is, since the supportive bone and fibre attachments remain in place, these effects from gingivitis can be reversed with modifications to hygiene and professional preventative care (like our “standard” cleanings).
If early disease is not treated, the condition can progress to its advanced form: periodontitis. Early periodontitis is characterised by damage to the supportive bone and fibre attachments. The gums further pull away from the teeth, causing a “long in the tooth” smile as more of the tooth structure is exposed. Furthermore, deeper pockets form between the teeth and gums. These periodontal pockets only hasten the effects of this disease. Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of the disease and involves the destruction of the supportive bony and fibre tissues. Your teeth may shift and feel loose. You can rock them back and forth in their sockets. At this point, extraction or removal of the tooth may be necessary.
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As indicated, treatment depends on the stage and severity of the disease. Earlier on, non-invasive and relatively simple interventions can successfully resolve the disease. As the process continues, though, other procedures may be necessary – from nonsurgical scaling and root planing to regenerative techniques.
Our dentists, Drs Terry Rose and Sutanter Wander, are also skilled at laser dentistry, a precise and well-tolerated alternative to aggressive surgical cutting techniques. We urge you to schedule your exam and hygiene appointment at our office in Moonee Ponds, Victoria before you notice any of the changes mentioned here.