PERIODONTICS & GUM DISEASE
Periodontitis is a pathology of the support structure of the teeth, which includes: alveolar bone, root cement, periodontal ligament and gums and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. The disease is primarily caused by many strains of bacteria but different co-factors can play an important role even though alone they would not be enough to cause the disease.
The main cause of periodontal disease is plaque. Plaque is the sticky film of food and bacteria that forms constantly on your teeth. These bacteria produce toxins and these toxins, combined with your body’s reaction to them, destroy bone around your teeth. Other visible signs are generally:
- Bleeding gums when brushing teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- The recession of the gum
- The movement and hypersensitivity of teeth and their change of position.
- Swollen gums
- Bright red or purplish gums
- New spaces developing between your teeth
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth. A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Daily oral hygiene measures to prevent periodontal disease include:
- Brushing properly on a regular basis (at least twice daily), with the patient attempting to direct the toothbrush bristles underneath the gum-line, helps disrupt the bacterial-mycotic growth and formation of subgingival plaque.
- Flossing daily and using interdental brushes (if the space between teeth is large enough), as well as cleaning behind the last tooth, the third molar, in each quarter
- Using an antiseptic mouthwash, Chlorhexidine gluconate-based mouthwash in combination with careful oral hygiene may cure gingivitis, although they cannot reverse any attachment loss due to periodontitis.
- Regular dental check-ups and professional teeth cleaning as required: Dental check-ups serve to monitor the person’s oral hygiene methods and levels of attachment around teeth, identify any early signs of periodontitis, and monitor response to treatment.
Typically dental hygienists (or dentists) use special instruments to clean (debride) teeth below the gum line and disrupt any plaque growing. This is a standard treatment to prevent any further progress of established periodontitis. Studies show that after such a professional cleaning (periodontal debridement), microbial plaque tends to grow back to pre-cleaning levels after about three to four months. Nonetheless, the continued stabilization of a patient’s periodontal state depends largely, if not primarily, on the patient’s oral hygiene at home, as well as on the go. Without daily oral hygiene, periodontal disease will not be overcome, especially if the patient has a history of extensive periodontal disease.
At Town Hall Dental we have a Hygienist, Mandy who offers routine hygiene treatment and also deeper cleaning under local anesthetic, as well as an excellent referral system for treatment of more advance cases.