Have you ever thought about why brushing and flossing your teeth is so important? Yes of course to keep your teeth nice and clean, but have you ever thought about if your gums are clean? Gum health is crucial to ensure the prevention of periodontitis. It is very easy to assume that just by cleaning our teeth our gums are receiving enough attention, well in fact, our gums require a lot more attention than expected. When we brush our teeth, we remove any type of plaque and bacteria sitting on the surface. However, these bacteria can get stuck in between our teeth and underneath our gums. That bacteria then grows and becomes trapped underneath the gums. Resulting in inflamed gums. This inflammation is what we call the start of periodontitis.
What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis, mostly known as gum disease, is an infection within the gums. This inflammation can cause the gums and the supporting bone to deteriorate. This can lead to gum recession and possibly even tooth loss. Periodontitis is very common but very preventable. And it is usually caused by poor oral hygiene.
What are the different levels of Periodontitis?
When we are talking about gum disease there are three types of grades that we use. This helps to define what type of problems we are dealing with and what measure we need to take to ensure we treat the condition head on.
Periodontitis starts of by having inflammation in the gums, this is what we call gingivitis. The first sign of gingivitis is that the gums may bleed when brushing or flossing.
When we reach periodontitis, your gums have started to recede and you may experience small gaps in-between your teeth and gums, where bacteria are stored. Our bodies natural immune system will try to fight off these bacteria by receding the gums back. This results in the gum tissue and the bone severely damaged. Your teeth may become loose and if remined untreated, tooth loss may occur.
Advanced Periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease. It results in the permanent loss of fibres and the bone supporting your teeth are destroyed. At this stage there is a high chance that the teeth will need to be removed and implants will be required.
What are the symptoms you should watch out for in your everyday oral care?
Some symptoms that may be indicators to gum disease include: gums that bleed when you brush your teeth or floss, bad breath, changes in the position of your teeth or loose teeth, receding gums, red, tender, or swollen gums, A Build-up of plaque and/or pain when chewing.
How to treat Periodontitis?
The most efficient way to treat gingivitis to periodontitis is a professional clean with our hygienist. She will remove any build up of plaque and tartar and bacteria. She may also recommend that you require a deeper clean. We call this Scale and Root Planning. This enables her to treat deeper within the gums and target all the nasty bacteria sitting between the teeth and the gums. You may require multiple treatments and you may be required to see a periodontist if the condition is advanced.
As you can see gum disease and periodontitis is something that we need to be aware of and take very seriously. If caught early, it is very reversible and treatable. There are multiple things you can do to protect your gums and oral health.
Ensuring that we keep a daily healthy oral routine is crucial. But there are extra measures you can take.
Ways to prevent periodontitis:
- Ensure you visit the hygienist for a professional clean and gum test every 6 months
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Consider using an electric toothbrush and a mouth wash every day.
- Floss at least once a day to remove any plaque build-up.
- Do not smoke tobacco or have excessive amounts of alcohol
- Avoid things like coffee, tea or soft drink being left on the teeth and gums
The most important thing is to remember that the longer you look after your teeth, gums and mouth, the longer your teeth will remain. Ensure you are seeing our amazing Hygienist Adrianna, a minimum of every six months and practicing good oral hygiene every morning and night.
To book in a professional Hygiene appointment please call 9466 8103 today!