Gum Treatment

Gum Disease and Treatments

If your gums bleed, are sensitive or swollen , you have unexpected bad breath  or your teeth seem to have recently moved,  it may be time for a dentist to take a closer look in your mouth. Our Hobsonville dentists can offer you advice and treatment on preventing gum (periodontal) disease, bleeding gums and dental decay. With regular visits to the Dentist and Dental Hygienist, any gum problems can be identified quickly and treated to resolve and prevent gum problems and even cardiovascular disease in the future.

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When gum disease is left untreated, it can unfortunately lead to tooth loss – however our dentists can work with you to rectify any existing or developing gum problems and successfully repair existing damage to your teeth and supporting gum and bone. Our procedures may include advising you on long term treatment plans to ensure your continued oral health in addition to specialised guidance on your teeth and gums. We also offer dietary advice for strong, healthy teeth and instructions for how to best floss and brush them to avoid plaque build-up. Our procedures, treatment plans and programs will give you healthy gums, a fresh mouth and the confidence to smile again. 

What is gum disease?

Gum (or periodontal) disease is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Broadly speaking there are two types of gum infection - gingivitis and periodontitis. These types of gum disease are fairly common throughout the global adult population but they can be halted or symptoms lessened with pro-active care and treatment. Periodontal disease is a significant cause of tooth loss in adults, but many suffer from the disease without being aware as the inflammation and bone destruction are largely painless. Hence, people may wrongly assume painless bleeding after teeth cleaning is not of concern – but instead this may be a symptom of the progress of periodontitis in the patient.

What are the causes of gum disease?

Dental plaque which forms a sticky film on the surface of teeth, is the main cause of gum disease.  Toxins are released by the bacteria contained in plaque, causing inflammation (gingivitis) damages the gum surface adjacent to the plaque.  To prevent permanent damage and resolve inflammation plaque needs to be removed by tooth cleaning. If plaque remains, it begins to mineralise and form tartar (calculus or scale) a hard build up on the surface of the tooth. This complex hard to remove colony of bacteria is rough allowing further build-up of plaque formation and results in several things

  1. damage to gums,
  2. the breakdown of the attachment of the tooth to bone (periodontal ligament destruction)
  3. destruction of the bone that holds the tooth in the jaw bone
  4. teeth becoming mobile or wobbly
  5. bad breath
  6. the eventual loss of the tooth
  7. collapse of the face
  8. a decreased ability to eat
  9. gum boils
  10. pain

How do I know if I have gum disease?

The signs and symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease are variable, but may include

  • gums that swell and redden
  • sensitive gums which bleed on brushing
  • gums that pull away from loose teeth
  • a bad taste in the mouth
  • (possible) bad breath 

However until it is at an advanced stage, pain is rarely a symptom of the disease, so you may be unaware of any changes. Therefore it is advisable you schedule regular appointments so our dental team or hygienist can detect any changes occurring in the gums as part of your regular examinations

Consultation

A consultation appointment is the first stage of periodontal treatment to establish in advance the severity and extent of the disease.

  • Gum positions and spaces between gums and teeth are measured (spaces are called pockets)
  • Pocket depth is registered on a special permanent chart to record the level of disease that is present
  • Position and height of the bone supporting teeth is recorded via photographs and x-rays (as required) 

From the information that has been accumulated, a treatment plan is devised. Hobsonville Point Dental generally present a variety of treatment options with their merits and potential drawbacks discussed with you to decide which treatment will be the most appropriate to you. 

Treatment of gum disease

At the consultation appointment, possible treatment alternatives will be explained to you and this is the best time to ask any questions you may have. Our goal is always the preservation of teeth if possible and appropriate. Scaling (removal of soft plaque and hard calculus from the teeth and gum line) in addition to root instrumentation (using hand or ultrasonic instruments to remove deposits from below the gum line) are the most common forms of treatment.

Root instrumentation can be performed under local anaesthetic if teeth are sensitive. The tooth and root surface are cleaned and smoothed to enable the gum tissue / attachment an opportunity to heal after inflammation and infection, oftentimes in combination with antibiotics. Our treatments have successfully resulted in our client’s regaining a healthy, fresh smile, free from gum disease.

Would you like to know more about your options to treat periodontitis and regain your smile? Contact us today. 

Hobsonville Point Dental

160 Hobsonville Point Road, Hobsonville Point, Auckland 0618

09 320 0504   info@hobsonvillepointdental.co.nz

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