Gum disease (Periodontal disease) is the inflammation and infection of the supporting structures of teeth. These include the gums, jaw bones and ligaments that help keep teeth in the mouth. The disease is caused by plaque and calculus, which is a sticky and tenacious layer of bacteria that build up on the teeth. The signs and symptoms of gum disease are:
- Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums
- Receding gums, showing the roots of teeth, leading to sensitive teeth and increased risks of dental caries on the root surfaces
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Abscesses or pus draining from gums
- Loose teeth, drifting teeth or gaps appearing in between teeth
- Failure to control the progression of gum disease can lead to eventual loss of teeth.
Treatment of gum disease involves the removal of plaque and calculus above and below the gum line using techniques such as scaling and root planning. Sometimes a local anaesthetic may be needed to ensure comfort during the procedure and treatment may be spread out through multiple appointments. Our dentists may need to modify or replace certain fillings that predispose to plaque accumulation. We will form a home care plan to ensure that you will be able to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Scaling and root planning may have to be repeated until your gum disease is controlled and stable. As gum diseases tend to recur, maintenance therapy through regular six monthly dental visits may be required.
Smoking increases the risk of gum disease and reduces the chances of successful treatment. Our team will help support you in your endeavour to give up smoking if you want to make this change in life.