Gum Disease also referred to as periodontal disease is an infection where the tissues surrounding the teeth (gums ) become inflamed due to bacteria. The main cause of this condition is due to plaque which is a sticky, colourless film that forms on your teeth on daily basis. Plaque is composed of numerous strains of bacteria which stick to your teeth, roots and gums. These bacteria cause infection and lead to gums to become red, swollen and to bleed.
Initially plaque can be easily removed by regular brushing twice a day and flossing. However if plaque remains on the teeth then it will harden into calculus or tartar and you will need to get professional deep cleaning or periodontal treatment at a dental clinic.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen, red gums
- Loose teeth
- Funny taste in mouth
- Bad breath
- Gum recession
- Tooth sensitivity
- Deep gum pockets
- Pus around the teeth and gums
- New spacing between teeth
There are two stages of gum disease :-
Stage 1 : Gingivitis
The initial stage Inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth (the gums) which become inflamed due to bacteria. Symptoms include swollen, red looking gums which tend to bleed on touching, brushing or flossing. If this is not treated swiftly then the gum can actually pull away from the tooth leaving pockets where plaque can be deposited and harden to calculus which can lead to further bleeding spontaneously, bad breath and a funny taste. Gums can also recede (shrink) exposing the root of the tooth which can result in sensitivity to hot and cold due to exposed dentine.
- Regular check ups at the dentist to check for signs of gingivitis
- Regular hygiene appointment to remove any calculus debris.
- Daily home care routine to prevent gingivitis
Stage 2 : Periodontitis
This is the chronic form of gingivitis where the inflammation has progressed to bone loss resulting in pockets between the teeth and gums. The bone loss if extensive can make the tooth mobile, affecting chewing and speech. These loose teeth can start moving position. At this stage the goal is to stabilise the condition with periodontal treatment to prevent further progression to maintain the teeth for as long as possible.
- Deep cleaning – Special scaling instruments are used to clean the plaque and tartar that has built up on the tooth and underneath the gum line where the bacteria is on the roots of the tooth. This is known as scaling and root planing. The gum can then attempt to heal naturally and reattach to the tooth.
- Medicated mouthwashes – To help control the buildup of plaque
- Periowave – For most cases where scale and polish can’t treat the condition of the gums Periowave treatment is recommended and widely used. Periowave is a painless, quick, non antibiotic and effective procedure which can significantly improve treatment outcome when combined with scaling and root planing. A non thermal laser which works to kill bacteria associated with periodontal disease. Its powerful photo disinfection reaction inactivate the harmful bacteria and toxins associated with periodontal disease that are left behind after deep cleaning. The gum then has the best ability to heal naturally and reattach to the tooth.
How does it work ?
The dentist will first perform a deep cleaning in the affected area or all of the mouth. A specially formulated photosynthesizing blue solution is then applied around the gums in the affected area. The blue solution preferentially attaches to the harmful bacteria and toxins which are remaining and are associated with periodontal disease.
The Periowave non thermal, light diffusing tip is then inserted into each treatment site for 60 seconds destroying the harmful bacteria and toxins painlessly and without the use of antibiotics. Results are often immediate and include healthier less red looking gums, less bleeding and no more bad smell.