What is gum disease?
We are often told to brush our teeth and go to the dentist to avoid getting gum disease in Perth.
Gum disease, if left untreated, can eventually lead to tooth loss. Here at Elite Perio, we do what we can to prevent our patients from getting gum disease in the first place; however, we have the means to eliminate it at any stage. But what exactly are we trying to avoid?
What are the stages of gum disease?
Gum disease in Perth begins with the build-up of plaque around the gums. This is a soft sticky mixture of food, saliva, and lots of bacteria. It is perfectly natural; however, it needs to be regularly removed by brushing and flossing or else it can build up, calcify and become much harder to remove. Soon it can snowball into gum disease.
Early gum disease is called gingivitis. Signs for this include bad breath, bleeding when brushing the teeth, and soreness and swelling of gums. This can sometimes be eliminated by good oral hygiene practice at home; however it’s a good idea to see the dentist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, as we can check the stage of your gum disease and advise on the best solutions to prevent it from worsening.
If left untreated, gum disease can develop into periodontitis. This is where the gum tissues become infected and the bone in the jaw can wear away. The worst-case scenario results in small spaces opening up between the gum and the teeth. Plaque can then get in and attack the root of the teeth and surrounding bone, causing the tooth to loosen and fall out.
If you have periodontitis, we can treat it by removing the plaque and some soft tissues from the gum pockets. If after this time, further treatment is needed, we will move the gum to examine the tooth bone, plane away any infected material, and adjust the teeth to the correct position, before putting the gum back again.
Preventing gum disease in Perth
While we have the means to eliminate gum disease in its early and late stages, it is best avoided altogether, by regular brushing and flossing and regular check-ups.