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STOP the ‘deadly’ periodontitis BEFORE it’s too late!

We are proud to be the first Dentists in Australia to offer PerioProtect which is a comprehensive method that is customized for individual patients to help manage biofilms, communities of bacteria, growing in the spaces or pockets between teeth and gum tissue. The overall goal of the Perio Protect Method™ is to manage oral biofilm with minimally invasive dentistry for lasting oral health.

 

Gum disease is a serious infection affecting the tissues surrounding the teeth.

Gone unchecked, gum disease can result in tooth loss. With treatment, it can be controlled and maintained.

Gum disease is also known as periodontitis, periodontal disease, or pyorrhoea. Periodontal literally means “around the tooth”.

Cosmetic gum surgery can greatly enhance the visual aspects of your smile and improve your confidence by giving you a healthy and beautiful smile again!

At Bay Dental And Orthodontics we have a highly skilled and experienced dentist who will work with you to ensure that your gums stay healthy and your smile beautiful no matter what your age.

 

How gum disease develops

Did you know that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, affecting more than ¾ of all people, regardless of race, nationality, or socio-economic levels?

Over 50% of adults over the age of 35 are already in the early stages of gum disease. In fact, gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss after the age of 35.

Generally, gum disease takes a long time to develop (it’s a chronic disease) and can be characterized by short periods of rapid tissue breakdown, followed by long periods of dormancy.

Like all chronic diseases, gum disease does not go away. It will not get better by itself. So, you can’t just forget about it! As the condition worsens, it is harder to treat successfully. That is why once we notice gum problems, it is best to initiate treatment as soon as possible.

The longer you wait the worse it can get – literally!

The good news is that the earlier gum disease is detected, the more successful are the treatment results.

Contact us today to request additional information or to make an appointment . Together, we will explore your options and help you get the confident smile you deserve without you having to pay an arm and a leg.

Do you have gum disease – how can you know for sure?

 

 

Gum disease is a silent disease

Most people do not know they have gum disease, until their dentist brings it to their attention. One of the reasons it comes as a surprise is that gum disease is a silent disease, with few obvious symptoms in its early stages.

The first warning sign you cannot ignore!

 

One of the first warning signs is when the rim of the gum next to your teeth becomes red and swollen, and bleeds easily when touched.

Most often, there is no discomfort at this stage, yet the disease has gained a foothold and is now known as “gingivitis.”

Gingivitis is reversible with improved oral home care and a professional cleaning. However, if left untreated, the danger exists that it will progress into an irreversible gum disease that damages the gums and bone surrounding the teeth.

Gum disease is a more advanced disease than gingivitis. Gum disease destroys jawbone and tissues supporting the teeth. Yet still, an individual may be unaware of the problem existing in their mouth. That’s why it’s called a ‘silent disease’.

The signs are subtle at first, and often only your dentist or hygienist can detect it. That’s why we recommend regular check-ups to prevent these and similar painful and irreversible problems from occurring in the first place.

Here’s what Bay Dental And Orthodontics qualified dentists look for to ensure you gum disease is recognised in its early stages:

 

1. Pockets

Pockets occur when the collar of gum becomes infected, and separates from the tooth creating a space. This space is a “pocket.” A pocket is not necessarily formed when food gets stuck between teeth. This can be hard to see or identify to an untrained eye but not to a qualified and experienced Bay Dental And Orthodontics professional.

2. Bleeding

 

 

In spite of its common occurrence, gums are not supposed to bleed any more than fingers, ears, or noses do on their own. If any of those starts bleeding, everyone knows to stop the bleeding, and look into it if it recurs. However, when gums continue to bleed, many simply ignore it, as if it were “normal”. Bleeding gums are not normal. When gums bleed, at the very least, a minor, reversible problem exists. Sometimes the bleeding is a sign that there are deeper problems, and without some kind of treatment, pockets and bone loss will continue to occur.

3. Bone loss

 

Did you know that 70% of all teeth removed from adults are due to bone loss from gum disease… not decay?

Subtle changes in the bone levels are definite markers that periodontal breakdown is occurring.

That’s why we recommend that dental x-rays are taken at regular intervals to chronicle the bone levels surrounding the teeth. If ignored, bone loss will progress and compromise your teeth.

4. Loose teeth

 

Something is wrong if your teeth are loose. But, you are unlikely to see, feel or notice it in time. That’s because a qualified dentist or hygienist, not the victim, is often the first to notice early signs of loose teeth. At you next check-up we will thoroughly check your teeth to ensure they are good and healthy and if any required treatment is necessary.

5. Spaces

 

Why are some teeth ‘spacing out’? In general, teeth do not shift their position, though crowding of the lower (mandibular) front incisors does occur as we age. However, when spaces appear between some of the upper (maxillary) front teeth, it is time to figure out why. The most common reason for front teeth to flare out is advanced bone loss and lack of tooth support due to progressive gum disease. Don’t keep yourself guessing, visit us immediately to stay on the safe side!

6. Halitosis – Bad or Offensive Breath

 

Bad or offensive breath may be a sign that significant periodontal problems exist in someone’s mouth. This warning sign cannot be ignored. Once the periodontal problems are under control, bad breath often goes away.

7. Abscess – trapped bacteria in gum pocket

 

Occasionally, the first time a person knows they have a gum problem is when they get a periodontal abscess. An abscess occurs when bacteria are trapped in a gum pocket. They have no way of escaping and the pocket expands, forming an abscess. If treated in time, little damage occurs to the surrounding bone and tooth. Not treating an abscess in time, can lead to rapid and severe bone loss. When this happens, you require additional periodontal treatment.

WARNING! It is important to note you may have gum disease and not experience any of these symptoms. Gum disease is usually a slow, painless, silent and progressive disease. Most adults with gum disease are unaware they have it. If diagnosed and treated early, however, the teeth can be saved. That is why it is important to have regular dental checkups with Bay Dental And Orthodontics.

How is gum disease diagnosed?

 

If you have a history of periodontitis, or are a smoker, you are especially at risk.

Here at Bay Dental And Orthodontics we will inspects the bite, and also the colour and firmness of your gums to test your teeth health and looseness.

We use a insert a small measuring instrument between the tooth and gum to measure the depth of the pockets. If the depths are greater than the norm of 1-3 millimeters, we may suggest improved oral hygiene measures and/or more deliberate therapy.

This critical “periodontal” examination is essential at regular and frequent intervals for all adults, especially when there is a history of periodontitis in the immediate family (like a parent needing dentures by age forty) and/or if they smoke.

X-ray photos also reveal dental decay and can be useful in detecting a variety of abnormalities. That’s why we take low-dose X-ray photos should be taken at appropriate times to evaluate changes in the bone supporting the teeth.

Contact us today to request additional information or to make an appointment . Together, we will explore your options and help you get the confident smile you deserve without you having to pay an arm and a leg.

How is gum disease treated?

 

Once a thorough diagnosis has been made and a treatment plan formulated between the patient, their dentist, and the periodontist, the actual periodontal treatment is often performed in two phases, although a 3rd phase (surgery) is sometimes required.

Phase 1 – Initial preparation and scaling

 

The first phase is the initial preparation. All patients need to complete this initial phase. This is when the patient learns which tools to use, and how to properly brush their teeth and clean in between their teeth.

In addition, during these visits, the dental hygienist/dentist/periodontist performs multiple scaling (cleanings) of the teeth, attempting to remove all the plaque and tartar (calculus) stuck to the teeth. Often, changes can be seen right away. Bleeding reduces and the pockets get smaller.

Phase 2 – Re-evaluation and possible further scaling

 

The second phase of periodontal treatment consists of re-evaluating the pocket depths and seeing if gums still bleed after the initial scaling. The more the patient exercises effective oral hygiene techniques, the more they can improve their condition.

There are times when additional scaling help attain the goal of smaller pockets. However, if the pockets are still too deep at the time of re-evaluation, patients need more treatment before returning to periodontal health.

Phase 3 – Gum surgery

 

Surgery is indicated when non-surgical methods are not enough to stop the disease process. Periodontal surgery helps save teeth. When the pockets are so deep that scaling will not effectively clean them out, the dentist or periodontist gently separates and peels back the gums from the underlying structures.

Tartar and plaque can then be scraped off the roots, much the same way splinters need to be removed when they are stuck under the skin. However, periodontal surgery accomplishes more than just scraping off tartar and plaque.

We know that bacteria impart chemicals, called endotoxins, onto the root surface. These endotoxins must be removed if gums are to reattach to the roots, in the quest of making pockets smaller. Without removing the endotoxins, periodontal treatment is hampered.

One way to remove endotoxin is to leech it out of the roots with mild acids… citric acid and tetracycline being two that are often used. Surgical access is essential to accomplish this. The other way to get the endotoxins off the roots is to scrape them off with careful scaling. Both are effective techniques performed during periodontal surgery.

Surgical treatment results in cleaner roots, shallower pockets, and healthier gums. The patient and dental professional who treats them, can effectively maintain their periodontal health in this new and improved environment.

Sometimes Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR) is necessary. GTR involves the use of a biocompatible membrane material, often in combination with a bone graft, which promotes the growth of lost tissue and bone around your tooth. We will advise you whether this option is suitable for you.

Contact us today to request additional information or to make an appointment . Together, we will explore your options and help you get the confident smile you deserve without you having to pay an arm and a leg.