Periodontal therapy is the treatment and prevention of gum disease, but what is gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth. If left, this plaque builds up on and between teeth, irritating gums and making them swollen.
When this swelling happens, it can allow a space or ‘pocket’ to form beneath the tooth. As the amount of bacterial plaque increases, so does the depth of the pocket. This causes gums to recede, exposing more of the tooth. If left untreated, the pocket can become so large that teeth may loosen and even need to be removed.
There are two stages of gum disease:
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. It occurs when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when brushed. If left untreated, long-standing gingivitis can develop into severe gingivitis or periodontitis.
More teeth are lost through periodontitis than through tooth decay. Periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease where bacterial plaque destroys the gums, soft tissue and eventually the bone anchoring the teeth, making the tooth loose in its socket. If left untreated, the tooth may eventually fall out or need to be removed.
At Ripley Dental, we recommend dental hygiene treatments to our patients. Why? Because even the best brushing and flossing routines cannot eliminate all traces of plaque. Left on your teeth, plaque becomes hard tartar, which cannot be brushed off. This then traps more plaque and the cycle repeats, causing gum disease and frequently bad breath.
Our hygienist removes plaque and calculus from your teeth in order to prevent the onset or progression of gum disease, and leaves your mouth sparkling clean.
For patients with more advanced periodontal disease, we have a specialist periodontist on our team who can analyse your specific situation and provide more intensive treatment to target your treatment needs.
The best way to help avoid gum disease and protect against your gums from receding is to practice good oral hygiene.
We will give you advice on the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean.