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Periodontal Treatment
(treatment of gum disease)

Periodontics refers to the field of dentistry that focuses on preventing, diagnosing and treating gum disease.

Gums, or gingiva, are the soft tissues that surround the lower margins of teeth and cover the jawbone.

Gum health is an essential part of keeping your mouth and teeth healthy and strong. One of the leading causes of missing teeth is gum disease, which can affect adults of any age.

Gum disease (or periodontal disease) treatment is the deep cleaning of the gums over multiple appointments. Typical treatments include the scaling of the teeth to remove plaque and calculus build-up and bacteria above and under the gums. Additional treatments such as prescription mouthwashes may be given if needed.

The dental professionals at Platinum Dental Care can work with you to find a solution to any gum issues you may be experiencing.

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Who needs periodontal treatment?

A patient experiencing the symptoms of gum disease such as gum inflammation, bone loss or bleeding gums while eating or brushing should see their dentist for a thorough investigation and diagnosis.

What causes periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is primarily caused by bacteria within the plaque, which if not removed with adequate cleaning can infect the gums. Infected gums (gingivitis) are swollen, red, painful and may bleed. If this condition is not treated and oral hygiene doesn't improve the number of bacteria grow at and below the gum level. The gums begin to detach from the tooth (pocketing) and over time, the gums and bone progressively shrink (recession). During this process, the support around the teeth diminishes making them loose and eventually leading to tooth loss.

Smoking and diabetes are contributing factors to gum disease.

Gum disease is preventable and treatable with the right advice and treatment from our dental experts.

What is involved in periodontal treatment?

Once periodontal disease has been diagnosed by your dentist, you may be treated by either a dentist, hygienist or dental therapist. First, your oral hygiene and gum health will be thoroughly assessed and recorded. Areas which have gum pocketing and inflammation will require deep scaling under the gums, and to avoid discomfort, an anaesthetic will be placed prior to starting treatment.

Once the areas are fully numb, the clinician will carefully clean the gums and root surfaces with special ultrasonic or hand instruments. They may also use an antibacterial solution during or after the treatment.

Once treatment is completed, customised oral hygiene instructions will be given to allow appropriate healing and maintenance of the treated areas. Depending on the location and severity of the disease, more than one appointment of periodontal treatment may be needed as part of your initial periodontal treatment plan.  

Research shows that gums take 8-12 weeks to show signs of healing, and so follow up appointments will be booked at 2 or 3 months.

If you have been diagnosed with severe periodontal disease in any part of your mouth, or there has not been adequate healing after several periodontal treatments over 9-12 months, your clinician may refer you to a periodontal specialist.  

What can I expect after my treatment?

You may expect some discomfort immediately and for a few days after you have had periodontal treatment. However, this will progressively improve.

Continue to perform your customised oral hygiene regime and over a 12 week period you should see the following improvements in your gums:

  • Reduced inflammation and swelling (there may be more visual gum recession due to this)
  • Reduced redness and bleeding
  • Improved halitosis (bad breath)
  • Less pain and discomfort

You may have follow up appointments booked for additional treatment to prevent further gum disease and to maintain your gum health.

How can I prevent periodontal disease?

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste for approximately 2 minutes each time
  • Floss or use an interdental cleaner at least once per day
  • Use a mouth rinse daily
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Visit your dentist for regular examinations
  • Visit your hygienist at least twice a year for professional cleanings

What are common gum problems?

  • Gingivitis: Gingivitis is a mild/moderate bacterial infection of the gums. This can lead to bleeding or inflammation when a patient brushes or flosses their teeth.
  • Periodontitis: Periodontitis is a more severe active gum disease. It involves instances where the tissue around the base of the tooth becomes inflamed and infected. Periodontitis can cause the gums to recede from the tooth and create pockets of infection, tooth mobility and bone loss. 

While these common gum issues range in severity, they can often be treated with the help of a dentist and oral hygienist. At Platinum Dental Care, we offer a full range of gum treatments, ranging from preventative care to treatment of the disease and maintenance

What are the signs of gum disease?

Some symptoms of gum disease may include:

  • Swelling or redness of the gums.
  • Bleeding during flossing or brushing.
  • Pocketing where the gum detaches from the tooth/root surface.
  • Gums that appear to be receding from the teeth.

What are the common gum hygiene treatments?

Common treatments your dentist may recommend include a superficial/deep scaling and root surface cleaning. The treatment prescribed and the number of appointments you need will depend on your diagnosis. 

Root planing, also referred to as deep cleaning, consists of a deep clean under the gumline by a dental professional to remove any plaque or tartar from the root surface. This rids the gumline of the harmful bacteria that has accumulated. The gums will then re-adhere to some degree to the newly cleaned surface of the tooth, sealing out further bacterial accumulation.

After you and your dentist have chosen a treatment plan, you will need to schedule appointments, so your hygienist can treat and then monitor your progress and plan your maintenance. 

Can gum disease be prevented?

The development of gum diseases is often slow and does not become entirely apparent until the gums are already swollen and painful, putting your teeth at risk. The best way to prevent gum disease is to schedule regular visits to your dentist or oral hygienist for consistent dental health maintenance.

 Other preventative measures include:

  • Brush twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • Floss daily or use interdental brushes.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Talk to your dentist about using a daily mouthwash.

What should healthy gums look like?

Healthy gums are pink and firm. They rest closely against the base of your teeth, forming a seal to keep bacteria from becoming lodged between the teeth and the gums. 

The dental professionals at Platinum Dental Care can answer any gum hygiene questions you may have. Contact them for more information or to book an appointment. 

What happens if the pockets don’t heal after scaling and root planing? 

If the pockets don’t heal, you may require a referral to a periodontal specialist. 

What aftercare treatment will I need? 

Your dentist/hygienist may recommend more frequent hygiene appointments to help keep your gum disease under control. Practice good oral hygiene at home and consume a healthy diet. 

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