Mail Us (03) 9826 9511
227 Commercial Road
South Yarra, VIC 3141

Preventative Dentistry

Peridontal Gum Care

Periodontal Gum Care

Many people with periodontal (gum) disease are unaware of their condition and dismiss bad breath or bleeding gums to the food they eat or brushing too hard and as such do not seek treatment.

Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent health infections with an estimated 20% of people having the more severe forms of the disease and up to 80% of people with some degree of periodontal disease during their life. Periodontal disease is also a major cause of adult tooth loss.

Although periodontal disease can occur at any age the most severe cases are seen in people under 40 years of age. However, the progression of the disease over time means that most people do not see the disease until they are over 40.

Recent research has linked untreated periodontal disease with increased occurrence of heart attacks and strokes. People with a recent heart attack have been found to be 6.5 times more likely to have severe periodontal disease when compared with their peers. Periodontal disease has also been linked to reduced birth weight deliveries in pregnant women, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment of the disease has been found to reduce the factors linked to these changes. Thus regular checkups and dental maintenance as well as good home oral hygiene routines are very important in preventing these problems.

What causes Periodontal Disease?

Plaque is a clear sticky film that forms on your tooth surface, especially at the gumline and is made up of multiple different bacterial species. Those people with periodontal disease have certain types of bacteria in their mouths that can cause the disease. The evidence is that they acquired the bacteria from their close environment (their parents most likely) after they were born and that they have lower or absent antibody responses to the bacteria and have a reduced defences against the bacteria. Treatment does not eliminate these bacteria but reduces their levels to such a degree as to not allow them to cause a problem. This is also a very important reason for periodontal disease patients to have regular dental visits to keep this issue under control.

There are two major periodontal diseases: gingivitis and periodontitis.

  1. Gingivitis is where you have bleeding gums without destruction of the tooth supporting tissues. Gingivitis is reversible.
  2. Periodontitis is where the supporting structure of the tooth is destroyed. Periodontitis is not reversible.

Treatment of gum disease is best achieved with early intervention along with a maintenance program to keep control of the periodontitis causing bacteria. Brushing twice a day with a soft bristled electric toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between the teeth with interproximal brushes or floss is considered essential. Regular maintenance checkups and professional cleaning appointments every three to six months will significantly reduce the recurrence of the disease.

Calculus or Tartar

In up to 35% of people when plaque is not removed through daily brushing and flossing, it hardens and becomes calculus or tartar. Calculus cannot be removed by a toothbrush and requires a dental visit to have it removed.

Speciality Treatment

This practice has a Specialist Periodontist (Dr Neil McGregor) attend to treat periodontal disease in the patients, which offers you the convenience of having the treatment at the surgery.