Are you taking good care of your gums?
Healthy gums and bone help to support your teeth and protect their roots against bacteria. If your gums become infected or start to recede, this can damage your teeth or even lead to tooth loss. That’s why it’s important to take care of your gums and to see your dentist if you notice anything unusual.
When you visit us at Sydney Park Dental for a check-up and clean, we’ll examine your teeth and gums to check that they’re healthy and recommend any treatments you might need to restore your oral health. If you do have periodontal (gum) disease, we offer hygiene treatments and deep cleaning to help disinfect your gums and prevent further problems.
We can also advise you and your family on the best ways to look after your gums and lower your risk of oral health and general health problems.
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What is gum disease?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums and bone that hold the teeth in place. It’s most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene
There are two main stages to gum disease:
Gingivitis is the early stage, when the gum tissue is irritated but not damaged. Your gums may look red or swollen, feel sensitive, or bleed when you brush your teeth. Gingivitis can usually be treated by improving your oral hygiene or having professional cleaning and scaling treatments at your dentist.
Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease. By this stage, bacteria may have formed pockets in the gums, damaging the supporting structures of your teeth. This can cause teeth to loosen or even fall out. Your dentist will try to remove the infection with deep scaling or root planing treatments and may recommend other treatments to repair or restore damaged or missing teeth.
Untreated gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for adults. There’s also growing evidence linking it with other serious health problems, such as diabetes, cardiovascular (heart) disease, stroke, respiratory infections and premature birth for pregnant women. You should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible if you think your gums might be infected.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Some risk factors for periodontal disease include: poor oral hygiene, smoking, being overweight and certain health conditions such as diabetes or osteoporosis.
You might have gingivitis if your gums are inflamed (swollen), red or itchy, or bleed when you brush and floss your teeth.
You might have periodontitis if your gums have started to recede, your teeth feel painful when you eat or sensitive to heat and cold, or if your teeth feel loose. Bad breath can also be a symptom.
However, it’s possible to have gum disease without having any of these symptoms. That’s why it’s important to keep up with your regular dental check-ups, so there’s more chance of your dentist spotting anything that’s wrong before it causes permanent damage or requires a more intensive treatment.
How is gum disease treated?
At Sydney Park Dental, we offer hygiene treatments to help reverse the effects of gingivitis and protect your teeth and gums against further infections.
We’ll first carry out a thorough examination of your mouth to determine whether gum disease is present, how severe it is, and what treatments would be appropriate. We’ll explain what these treatments involve, including how much they cost and any associated risks, so you can decide which option is right for you.
If we find evidence of gingivitis, we may recommend deep cleaning and scaling treatments for your teeth to remove any plaque or calculus from their surface. We may also recommend a fluoride treatment and advise you on how to improve your oral hygiene routine at home.
If your gum disease has developed into periodontitis, we may also recommend deep scaling or root planing treatments. In the most severe cases, oral surgery may be required to open the gum and remove the infected tissue.
What are the risks of periodontal treatment?
Your teeth and gums may feel more sensitive after cleaning and scaling treatments, but this should go away after a few days. We may advise that you avoid certain food and drink until your mouth fully heals, as well as switching to a softer toothbrush and a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth and gums.
The only risks involved are if you require oral surgery, which has a minor risk of infection. If you have any unusual symptoms after your gum disease treatment, make an emergency appointment at our clinic.
How can I prevent gum disease?
Gum disease is a preventable condition. When you know the causes and risk factors for gum disease, you can lower your risk of infection by making changes to your diet, lifestyle and oral hygiene habits, such as:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing between your teeth every day
- Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol
- Consuming less sugar and following a healthy, balanced diet
- Controlling any underlying medical conditions
If you or someone in your family has trouble keeping your teeth and gums healthy, we can demonstrate the correct way to brush and floss or recommend other oral care solutions.
How much does gum care cost?
The cost of gum disease treatment depends on how much the disease has advanced and what treatments you choose. We can give you a quote during your consultation at our Erskineville dental clinic.
We offer a check-up and clean for $175 at Sydney Park Dental. This includes professional teeth cleaning, scaling to remove plaque and fluoride treatment. Talk to our friendly team to find out more.