• By 1300SMILES Densits
  • October 22, 2020

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease is the infection of tissues and bone surrounding the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect anyone ranging from early teens to the elderly. According to the ADA, periodontal disease affects nearly 20% of the Australian population. This is due to a build-up of bacteria that can grow beneath the gum line, leading to recession of the gums, bone loss and eventual mobility of the teeth resulting in tooth loss. People who are more at risk of developing periodontal disease include those that smoke, have poor oral hygiene habits and an unhealthy diet.

What causes periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by plaque attached to the tooth surface. If not removed, can harden into calculus making it difficult to remove with simple brushing techniques. Plaque and calculus contains bacteria that can produce harmful toxins to the surrounding tissues resulting in the gums to pull away from the tooth causing pockets. These pockets can entrap bacteria below the gum line which can be difficult to remove with brushing and flossing. If these pockets are not treated in time, harmful toxins can then progress to permanently damage the bone, subsequently resulting in bone loss. Bone is one of the main support systems of the tooth, thus significant bone loss can cause tooth mobility, and in due course, tooth loss.

Signs of periodontal disease

  •  Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Mobile teeth
  • Tender or swollen gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • Presence of pus
  • Tender when biting or change in the way you bite
  • Bad breath
  • Change in the fit of your dentures

Treatment of periodontal disease

Treatment of periodontal disease varies according to the severity of the disease. If treated early, treatment can be as simple as professional cleaning with your regular dentist and improved oral health techniques. However, if the disease is severe, then a more invasive approach is necessary in terms of deep cleaning into the pockets below the gum line to efficiently remove plaque and calculus.

What can I do to avoid gum disease?

It is highly important to practice good oral health techniques such as brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing every day and having a healthy diet. Additionally, it is also beneficial to see your regular dentist for 6 monthly check-ups and cleans to ensure your teeth and gums are in healthy condition.

Dr Pooja Ramnanan

1300SMILES Toowoomba