The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, and it is characterised by red, swollen gums that tend to bleed. Gingivitis is caused by plaque, which is a thin, transparent, furry, film that builds up on teeth and irritates your gums.
If plaque is not removed daily it will calcify and become rock hard. This hard deposit on a tooth is called tartar (or calculus). If tartar is not flicked away by your dentist it will continue to build up under your gums where it cannot be seen. This tartar irritates your gums causing them to tear away from your tooth. At the same time the bony supports of your teeth shrink back. By this stage gingivitis has progressed to the more severe gum disease called pyorrhoea. If pyorrhoea is not treated you may eventually experience infection of your gums, loosening of your teeth, and eventually loss of teeth.
Gums can also be affected by:
- A viral infection that leads to a condition called Necrotic Ulcerative Gingivitis
- Inadequate diet
- Excessive, abnormal biting pressure on individual teeth
- The side effects of medication
- Extra stress on your body caused by any illness
At Friendly Smiles Dental we work to keep your gums healthy by using an ultra sonic scaler every six months.
This technique uses a blunt tip that vibrates at super-fast speeds. The vibration shakes the hard deposits of tarter from your teeth. Ultra Sonic cleaning is faster than using hand instruments. In addition we can apply a numbing gel to minimise discomfort. After your scale and clean we massage your gums to enhance healing.
The good news is that gum disease can be managed with diligent home care:
The right brushing and flossing techniques
3% Hydrogen Peroxide to be placed where the teeth meet the gums
Use of a water jet machine to spray water between teeth and gums
Good healthy diet
Regular cleans with the dentist is extremely important to keep tarter build up to a minimum.
If you have any questions or are concerned with the health of your gums please phone friendly smiles dental on 07 3397 0610.