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Restorative Treatments

Periodontal Disease (gum disease)

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial condition affecting the gums and bone that can lead to teeth mobility and ultimately tooth loss. It begins with the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colourless substance that continuously develops on teeth) causing inflammation of the gums.

Stage 1 - Gingivitis

The early stage is referred to as gingivitis where the gums are red, swollen and bleed easily but the gums remain attached to the teeth. This stage is reversible. The most common cause is poor oral hygiene and this can be corrected quite easily with an improved oral hygiene regime.

Stage 2 - Periodontitis

The next stage of the disease, Periodontitis can occur because the plaque and calculus is allowed to develop unchecked and it penetrates below the gum line. There is a known link between periodontal diseases and certain systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disease. The bacteria in the plaque create toxins that cause a chronic inflammatory response leading to the destruction of the tissues and bone that support the teeth.

As the disease progresses the gums separate from the teeth and form pockets where bacteria can collect to cause further damage to the tissue and bone adjoining the teeth. Eventually teeth become loose and may have to be removed or fall out. Early intervention is critical to controlling the disease before irreversible damage is caused. Because this often does not involve discomfort, it can develop to an advanced stage without the patient knowing.

Warning signs to look out for that may indicate a periodontal problem:

  • Bad breath(halitosis)
  • Bleeding gums (or blood on pillow or toothbrush etc)
  • Red, swollen, shiny gums
  • Teeth becoming loose or drifting
  • Severe pain or pus in space between teeth

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