Periodontal or gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among Australian adults and is the most common disease in the world with estimates suggesting that 3 out of every 4 people unknowingly have some form of the disease.
Gum disease causes bad breath, gum bleeding, tooth mobility and eventually tooth loss Gum disease has been linked to uncontrolled diabetes, heart disease, strokes and low birth weight babies.
Gum Disease is a transmissible, bacterial infection that can destroy the attachment fibres and supporting bone that holds teeth in your mouth.
It is caused by plaque, a colourless film of bacteria that forms on teeth. A person’s reaction to the bacteria determines the severity of the resulting disease. Our ability to fight this infection can vary from day to day and week to week, depending on what else is going on with our life and health.
Plaque is most harmful when these bacteria form colonies, which takes about 24 hours. If not removed daily, plaque mixes with sugars and starches in the diet to form acids and other by-products in saliva. Plaque irritates the gums causing them to become red, tender and swollen. If not removed, the plaque hardens to form calculus (tartar) around the necks of the teeth.
Eventually, the tissue that attaches the gums to the teeth is destroyed by the irritants in the plaque, the gums pull away from the teeth and small pockets form between the teeth and gums. These products become filled with more plaque. Finally, the jawbone supporting the teeth is destroyed.
Fortunately, periodontal infection can now be detected and treated early! Periodontal infection is not curable but it is controllable. Each time you see the dentist he/she will do a periodontal evaluation to detect early signs of this infection. With early detection of the infection it can be controlled non-surgically. If the infection has progressed, surgical intervention may be necessary to control it.
We are excited about our ability to detect this infection early and to be able to offer you non-surgical therapy.
The single most important factor in slowing or stopping the disease’s progression is the control of bacteria. This is often accomplished by the removal of plaque. We use the latest instruments and medications to reduce the bacteria levels and toxins to a point where your immune system can control the infection. Our dentists will assist you with specific instructions on your home care, as your active participation with removal of bacteria at home is critical to the control of the infection.