Dentipedia

Gum Disease

Your gums are the support structure that keeps your teeth in place. When struck by periodontal disease, gums and supporting bone can be eroded and can lead to the loss of teeth.

Understanding Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease

The support structures around the teeth include your gum (gingiva), the thick and dense alveolar bones of the upper and lower jaw which have the alveoli (sockets) to house your teeth and the periodontal ligament which is suspensory tissue surrounding the roots of teeth, connecting them into the alveoli.

When dental plaque builds up in the mouth, it can lead to gingivitis that attacks the gum. When the inflammation affects the deeper structures beneath the gum, it is referred to as periodontitis or periodontal disease.

Untreated gum disease causes permanent damage to the supporting tissues and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Caught early, gingivitis is readily treated but if the problem is left, it may develop into periodontitis, causing a gradual loss of bone and tooth attachment to bone.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Persistent pain when chewing, persistent red, sore, swollen or bleeding gums are all early indicators that your gums are in need of a check-up.

More advanced symptoms include increased, sensitivity of teeth to hot or cold, changes in your bite and gums that have withdrawn (receded) from in between and around the teeth.

Treating Gum Disease

In the vast majority of cases the progression of gum disease prevented or stopped quickly with adequate oral hygiene and regular checkups with your dentist.

Management of gum disease becomes more difficult and less predictable the more advanced the disease. The sooner periodontitis is diagnosed and treated the better, which is another reason why regular dental examinations are important.

You may be referred to a periodontist if your dentist considers your condition needs more advanced care.

Treatment of periodontitis aims to control the problem bacteria that cause the disease. Treatment may include professional cleaning of the teeth above and below the gum line (into the pockets) to remove the plaque and hard deposits (calculus/tartar), as well as advice around personal habits or lifestyle that could improve the overall oral health of the patient.

Learn more about Periodontics

Advanced Gum Disease

If you do suffer from more advanced periodontal disease you may require Guided Tissue Regeneration or GTR, a surgical procedure that replaces missing bone with a specialised material. This material not only replaces missing bone, but also helps your body regrow lost bone to strengthen the grafted area.

Over time the newly formed bone will replace much of the grafted material.

Learn more about Perioidontal Surgery


Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with a surgical or invasive procedure, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

 

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