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Gum disease


Gum disease

If gum disease is not treated it can develop and cause more serious problems. The gum can start to come away from the tooth which creates holes or ‘pockets’ around the teeth. This means that even more bacteria has space to grow and do more damage to the gums.  In time the plaque will eat away the bone which supports the tooth. This leaves the tooth loose and it may then need to be extracted.



The longer plaque and tartar remain on teeth, the more harmful they become. Bacteria causes inflammation of the gums. This is called “gingivitis.” With gingivitis, gums become inflamed, swollen and often bleed. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dental hygienist. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place.



If gingivitis is not treated it can develop into to periodontitis. This is where ‘pockets’ are formed which can become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. The bacteria start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. The bone, gum, and tissue that support the teeth can be damaged irreparably and the teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.


Progressive gum treatment

Our clients might need additional help to treat gum disease. This is when your dentist might prescribe prolonged gum treatment (PGT) over a series of visits. This combined with oral care advice can help stabilise gum disease. Regular dental hygiene visits are then recommended to help you maintain your oral health by removing the plaque an calculus that brushing at home does not not remove. This will help slow the progress of gum disease.

Once your gums have been stabilised we recommend that you follow simple steps to help keep your teeth and gums healthy:

  • Brush your teeth first thing in the morning and last thing at night with a fluoride toothpaste.

  • Use dental floss regularly to floss between your teeth.

  • Cut down on the amount and frequency of sugary foods and drinks that you consume.

  • Visit your dentist as often as you are recommended too.


Benefits of gum disease treatment

  • Prolonged Gum Treatment or PGT can help prevent you from losing teeth by stabilising your gums.

  • The treatment removes plaque & calculus which also cause tooth decay.

  • The treatment can be provided by Dental Hygienist.



Does gum disease treatment hurt?

Scaling and polishing or cleaning by the dental hygienist is usually pain free. However, sometimes people do suffer from sensitivity or discomfort and the hygienist can administer anaesthetic cream or give you some local anaesthetic. Always let the dental hygienist know if you have any discomfort so that they can help you.


Does smoking cause gum disease?

Yes. Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease. Additionally, smoking can lower the chances for successful Prolonged Gum Treatment. Please speak to you dental hygienist or dentist for advice.


I have diabetes and have been told that I have gum disease?

Unfortunately people with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease. Prolonged Gum Treatment can still help stabilise the gum disease for you.


How does the Dental Hygienist clean my teeth during PGT?

The dental hygienist removes the plaque through a thorough cleaning process called ‘scaling’. Scaling involves scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line. This helps remove the bacteria that cause disease.

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