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What is Periodontal Disease?

In this short article we discuss a very big issue: periodontal disease. We have aimed to present to you the main points that need to be understood about periodontal disease along with valuable information on how to recover.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is the next stage of progression when gingivitis or gum disease is left untreated. While ginigivitis is an infection of only the gums, periodontitis is an infection of the gums, ligaments and bone. Periodontal disease is SERIOUS! The infection causes deep pockets to form around the sides of the tooth as the supporting gums and ligaments pull away. This results in plaque, calculus and food debris colelcting in the pockets around the tooth and without prompt treatment the bone then gets infected and and starts to be eaten away. When this happens the teeth become loose and can start to fall out if left untreated. Puss may also form around the infected areas.

What causes periodontal disease?

The primary cause of periodontal disease is neglecting basic oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing, avoiding the dentist not getting professional cleans. The condition can also be exaccerbated by smoking, vitamin C deficiency, phobia of visiting the dentists, substance abuse, medication and illness.

I don't want to loose my teeth - how do I recover?

Many people are extremely embarrased about this condition which in turn generally makes it worse as many people put-off going to the dentist until it is well advanced. Please do not delay making an appointment! Our dentists and dental hygienists are kind, friendly people that genuinely care about helping you recover your oral health and in turn, maybe help get some of your confidence back as well. Our professionals have seen it all, this is what they are trained to do!! So never feel like there is any judgement. Our professionals understand that there are often complex causes to periodontal disease, sometimes it can even develop due to a perosn going through an extremely stressful period in their life where they are unable to care for themselves properly. We understand. We care. And we want to help you.

Treating periondontal disease is something we do every day. The treatment begins with an appointment for a clean with our hygienist.

They will measure the pockets around the teeth and determine the severity of the disease. They will then recommend that thorough cleaning of the teeth is booked. This cleaning includes deeply cleaning the teeth including the root surfaces. Once the calculus and tartar are removed from the tooth and root surfaces the surrounding tissues can begin to heal without infection and bacteria being present. This cleaning may need to be done in four stages.

Your dental hygienists will take measurements of each affected tooth (called Perio Charting) at the beginning so that we have a record of the stage the disease was at when we began clinical therapy. This can then be used to record improvement over the course of your treatment.

If treatment is successful then after maintiaing regular cleans and adhering to the oral health instuction given by your hygienist, you may be able to return to the standard 6 monthly checkups for healthy gums and teeth.

If there are a few areas which require more specialist treatment, you may be referred to a periodontist. This will be explained in detail to you if necessary.

So please don't delay anymore!! Contact us to book in your first step towards healthy gums and teeth.

Author: Sophia Wotherspoon

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