The Treatment And Prevention Of Gum Disease

deeDo you have problems with bleeding gums, bad breath or stained teeth? Our dental hygienist Dee is trained in all aspects of oral health care, especially scaling and polishing. She can also provide the foundation for your preventative treatment by giving home care advice.

The aim is to make your mouth really healthy and so avoid gum disease. The hygienists duties also include Fissure sealing teeth. This is a coating applied to teeth in order to seal and protect them and is especially useful for children.

Dee is specially trained to show you how to keep your mouth clean and healthy. Regular visits will help prevent gum disease.


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perio1The gums have a healthy pink colour. Gum line hugs teeth tightly. No bleeding.

perio2Gums bleed easily when you brush or when probed gently during examination ~ Gums are inflamed and sensitive to touch. Possible bad breath and bad taste. Gums between teeth may look bluish-red in color.

perio3Gums may begin to pull away from the teeth. Bleeding, puffiness and inflammation more pronounced. Bad breath, bad taste, slight loss of bone horizontally on X-ray ~ Pockets of 4-5mm between teeth and gums in one or more areas of the mouth.

perio4Gum boils or abscesses may develop. Teeth look longer as gums begin to recede. Front teeth may begin to drift, showing spaces, bad breath, bad taste. Both horizontal and angular bone loss on X-ray. Pockets between teeth and gum range from 4-6mm deep.

Advanced Periodontitis
Teeth may become mobile or loose. Bad breath, bad taste are constant. Roots may be exposed and are sensitive to hot and cold. Severe horizontal and angular bone loss on X-ray. Pockets between teeth and gum now in excess of 6mm deep.


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Bacteria begin to form and multiply in the mouth shortly after birth. Almost immediately, our life-long battle against plaque begins. Plaque is composed mostly of bacteria, in combination with saliva, food and fluid secreted by the gums. the heaviest concentration of plaque tends to be at the point where the teeth meet the gums and between the teeth.

If not removed daily, the bacteria in plaque multiply into colonies. In time, unremoved plaque hardens into tartar, a tough gritty deposit that gives new plaque a rough surface to which it can cling. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.

Specific types of bacteria in plaque produce substances toxic to the gums and bones that hold the teeth in place. If plaque is allowed to grow, an inflammation of the gum called gingivitis occurs. As periodontal disease progresses, gums begin to pull away and recede from the teeth.Pockets of bacteria form and deepen, gradually reaching and destroying the bone that anchors the teeth. In this advanced stage known as periodontitis, teeth may be lost without prompt treatment by a dentists.

You should make it a point to see a dentist for a check up and professional cleaning at least twice a year, more often if recommended. The number of essential visits depends on the individual. Some people, for an instance, form tartar at a faster rate and may need professional cleaning more often.

During a regular visit, plaque and tartar will be removed from the teeth and the dentist also will check for any signs that could be indicative of periodontal disease. Regular visits also give the dentist opportunity to treat various stages of periodontal disease, which develop with symptoms that are invisible or that would be missed by an untrained eye.

During checkups an instrument called a periodontal prove is used to determine if there is any breakdown in the attachment of the gums to the teeth or early development of pockets between the gums and teeth. The depth of the pockets is measured in millimeters with this thin metal instrument. Generally, up to three millimeters is considered normal.

Anything deeper may be an indication that plaque removal needs to be improved in a particular area of the mouth. X-rays are also taken to determine the condition of the bone.

Like most people, you know that having a clean mouth is important. It makes you feel good about yourself. It gives you fresh breath and a nicer-looking smile. Since childhood, you’ve probably heard that brushing and flossing your teeth daily are necessary for good dental health. But like many people, you may not be sure why.

The Plaque Problem

Brushing and flossing remove a thin sticky film of bacteria that grows on your teeth. This sticky film, called plaque, is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease. How can bacteria cause so many problems?
The plaque problem

Many of the foods you eat cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids. Sugared foods, such as candy and cookies, are not the only culprits. Starches, such as bread, crackers, and cereal, also cause acids to form. If you snack often, you could be having acid attacks all day long. After many acid attacks, your teeth may decay.

Plaque also produces substances that irritate the gums, making them red, tender or bleed easily. After a while, gums may pull away from the teeth. Pockets form and fill with more bacteria and pus. If the gums are not treated, the bone around the teeth can be destroyed. The teeth may become loose or have to be removed. In fact, gum disease is a main cause of tooth loss in adults.

One way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease is by eating a balanced diet and limiting the number of between-meal snacks. If you need a snack, choose nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese or a piece of fruit.

The best way to remove decay-causing plaque is by brushing and cleaning between your teeth every day. Brushing removes plaque from the tooth surfaces.

Brush your teeth twice a day, with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth, allowing you to reach all areas easily.

Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from decay.

Cleaning between the teeth with floss or interdental cleaners removes plaque from between the teeth, areas where the toothbrush can’t reach. It is essential in preventing gum disease.

By taking care of your teeth, eating a balanced diet and visiting your dentist regularly, you can have healthy teeth and an attractive smile your entire life.

Follow these tips to keep your teeth and mouth clean.

45DPlace your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums.

Move the brush back and forth gently in short (toothwide) strokes.

Brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

Use the “toe” of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, using a gentle up-and-down stroke.

Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

floss2Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers.

Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty.

Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers. Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.

When the floss reaches the gumline, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.

Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions.

Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.

People who have difficulty handling dental floss may prefer to use another kind of interdental cleaner. These aids include special brushes, picks or sticks. If you use interdental cleaners, ask your dentist about how to use them properly, to avoid injuring your gums.