To Perth’s Specialist Periodontist Service

Periodontitis or Gum Disease: What It Is and the Successful Way to Treat It

When you or a loved one has gum disease, it may be uncomfortable. The gums become sore and sometimes infected. Many Australians are prone to have gum disease, but children can suffer from it as well. Unfortunately, many people do not know they have it until it leads to a more advanced level.

What is It?

Gum disease is a condition in which the gums are inflamed. When it progresses, it can affect the bone surrounding the teeth. The first stage is known as gingivitis when the patient has bleeding gums and bad breath.

When unmanaged, it can lead to the second stage known as periodontitis. Also known as periodontal disease, this infection affects the gums, alveolar bone, and the periodontal ligament. Different types of germs cause the gums and the surrounding area to weaken and become infected. If you leave it alone, it can result in tooth loss.

Although the accumulation of bacteria causes periodontitis, some people are more susceptible to it than others. If you have a family history of periodontal disease, you have a high risk of acquiring it. Smokers and diabetic patients also have a high chance of developing periodontitis. If you take medications that suppress your immune system, you are at risk as well.

In some individuals, it is hard to determine the cause. According to the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, 23% of Australians had periodontitis around 2004 to 2006. In the same period, the National Survey of Adult Oral Health showed that 10% of the respondents had inflamed gums while almost 13% had moderate to severe gum disease.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

The problem with gum disease or periodontitis is that the symptoms are unnoticeable, especially because there is no pain involved. However, when you see that your gums bleed when you brush or floss, it could mean that you are suffering from periodontal disease.

Other signs to watch out for are:

  • Swollen gums
  • Gum line shrinking away from the teeth (the “long in the tooth” look)
  • Tenderness when you bite
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth (sometimes tooth may have moved)

If you have two or more of the signs above, it is important that you see a dental professional right away. The good news is that this gum disease, although has advanced, can still be treated.

Professional Treatment of Periodontitis

A dental professional will examine you carefully and may measure the attachment level of your teeth. The only way to remove plaque is through deep professional cleaning aimed at removing the calculus deposits from under the gums and the teeth as well. The treatment does not stop here, which is why patients are advised to maintain good oral hygiene at home.

Unfortunately, periodontitis increases your risk of getting gum disease again. Regular visits to the dental professional are a must. This way, the accumulation of bacteria will be prevented.
If left untreated, it can lead to even bigger problems. In severe cases, treatment may involve root canals, large fillings, bridges, and tooth extractions. Periodontitis is connected to certain ailments, including heart disease and diabetes.

Should You Get Dental Implants?

If tooth extraction is required, replacement teeth may be necessary to get back your confidence in smiling. Instead of dentures that often fit poorly, you can confidently smile and talk naturally with dental implants.

If you have partial dentures and you get gum disease, a change in the fit often happens. With dental implants, you will not have such a problem. They look and feel like your natural teeth, so you are more comfortable when you talk and even eat.

When you have individual implants, they can help improve oral hygiene because they let you access the areas between your teeth easily. The process starts with a detailed examination to determine whether or not you are a candidate for an implant. You will also learn more about the process, as well as all the costs involved.

A minor surgery in which a screw is placed in the gum right where the gap is will be performed while you are under local anaesthesia. You may need pain medication after as bone grows around the screw to lock it in place. After a day, you should be back with your normal routine.

If you are ready to have a winning smile, contact Oasis Orthodontics today.

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