Gum disease (periodontal disease) is the leading cause of tooth loss, affecting around 20 percent of Australian adults. Good oral hygiene and keeping up with your regular dental appointments are the best preventive measures against gingivitis and more severe forms of periodontal disease.
If these conditions do develop however, our Karratha dentists offer effective gum disease treatments to remove plaque and restore your oral health.
What are the different types of gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by the same bacteria as tooth decay, and occurs when dental caries moves beyond a tooth into its underlying support structures. The two stages of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is characterised by red, swollen gums that may bleed when brushed.
Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis is not treated in time. Gum and bone recede from the tooth, causing it to loosen and leading to a build-up of plaque and a higher risk of infection.
What to expect
If you notice anything unusual with your gums, you should visit your dentist for a consultation. We will examine your gums and may ask questions about your symptoms and your medical history to plan the most effective gum disease treatment.
If gingivitis is present, your dentist will thoroughly clean and scale your teeth to remove the plaque. Following a good oral hygiene routine of brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once a day should soon see your gums return to normal.
If your gingivitis has already developed into periodontitis, your dentist will need to treat your gums before the gum disease worsens and puts more of your teeth at risk. If all the plaque cannot be removed by scaling, surgery will need to be performed to open the gums and clean the area before the gum is closed with stitches.
Am I at risk of gum disease?
Good oral hygiene is the key to preventing gum disease. You may be at risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease if you do not brush and floss your teeth as often as your dentist recommends, or if you find it difficult to brush due to crowded or misaligned teeth or the presence of braces or dentures.
The risk factor for gum disease is also higher for smokers and people with health conditions that lower their resistance to infections, such as diabetes, cancer and HIV/AIDS.
If you are worried about your gums and you want to discuss your treatment options, book an appointment with Karratha Dental Care to arrange a consultation with our local dentists.