When it comes to dental care, many people underestimate the dangers of poor oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene can lead to periodontal disease, a progressive condition that has been shown to have serious negative impact on your overall health.
Failure to brush and floss properly give the oral bacteria in your mouth the chance to spread and multiply. As these bacteria multiply, they emit acids that erode your dental enamel and toxins that can leach into your bloodstream, creating systemic issues with inflammation.
This inflammation has been shown to be especially damaging to the heart, causing problems like endocarditis, stroke, blood clots, heart attacks, and even heart disease. In fact, the same strains of bacteria found in your mouth have been found inside the plaques that line your arteries.
This is why at West Ryde Dental Clinic we are committed to keeping your gums healthy!
The Stages of Gum Disease
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen, and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing.
Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. In Australia, it is estimated that 25% of individuals 35 to 54 years of age have periodontitis, with the prevalence increasing to over 40% among those aged 55 – 74 years, and approximately 60% for those aged above 75 years old.
It can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth.
It is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups at West Ryde Dental Clinic are so critical. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed.
How Your Dentist at West Ryde Dental Clinic Diagnoses Gum Disease
During an exam, your gums are checked for bleeding, swelling, and firmness. Your teeth are checked for sensitivity and movement. Your bite is assessed. Full-mouth X-rays can help detect breakdown of bone surrounding your teeth.
Periodontal probing determines how advanced your disease is. A probe is like a tiny ruler that is gently inserted into pockets around teeth. The deeper the pocket, the more severe the disease.
Tartar may be progressing below the gumline and some bone loss could be evident. Pockets that are 5 millimeters or deeper indicate a serious condition that usually includes receding gums and a greater degree of bone loss.
Treatment at West Ryde Dental Clinic
The primary goal of treatment is to control the infection in your gums. Good dental habits should be maintained at home. Additionally, modifying certain behaviors, such as quitting tobacco use or better diet, might be suggested.
Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing)
The dentist or dental hygienist removes plaque through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing. Scaling means scraping the tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing grinds down rough spots on the tooth root where germs gather, and helps remove bacteria that contribute to the disease.
Medications may be used with treatment that includes scaling and root planing, but they cannot replace surgery. Depending on the severity of gum disease, your West Ryde dentist may still suggest surgical treatment.
Flap Surgery —This common surgery involves lifting back the gums and removing the tartar. The gums are then sutured back in place so that the tissue fits tightly around the tooth.
Bone and Tissue Grafts — Grafting is a way to replace or encourage new growth of bone or gum tissue destroyed by periodontitis. A technique that can be used with bone grafting is called guided tissue regeneration, in which a small piece of mesh-like fabric is inserted between the bone and gum tissue. This keeps the gum tissue from growing into the area where the bone should be, allowing the bone and connective tissue to make a comeback..
What Can You Do To Prevent Gum Disease?
Here are some things you can do to prevent periodontal diseases:
- Brush your teeth twice a day (with a fluoride toothpaste)
- Floss every day
- Visit the dentist routinely for a check-up and professional cleaning
- Eat a well balanced diet
- Don’t use tobacco products
The West Ryde Dental Clinic Advantage
At West Ryde Dental Clinic, we provide you with personalised service. All our dentists are highly motivated and accredited practitioners with graduate degrees from the University of Sydney. As well as the dentists, the supporting staff at West Ryde Dental Clinic are highly dedicated and experienced to ensure each visit with us is comfortable as possible.
General Check-up, Scale and Clean, X-rays and Fluoride treatment (with any health insurance)
*New patients only
Marketplace Employees Discount
10% discount for employees in the Marketplace
10% discount for seniors