Periodontal Treatment

Periodontal Treatment Melbourne VIC

What is a Dental Hygienist?

Dental hygienists are specially trained members of the dental team who work together with your dentist to provide fully integrated dental care. They play an important role in dental health, preventing dental disease by providing individual oral hygiene care and instruction to patients.

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What is The Hygienist’s Role in the Dental Practice?

Hygienists Perform Four Main Functions:

  1. Teaching patients oral hygiene techniques on an individual basis. This one-on-one instruction includes care for your gums and teeth, and advice on a healthy diet to prevent dental disease.
  2. Evaluation and assessment of your periodontal (gum) tissue, including x-ray discussion and review of medical history.
  3. Scaling and polishing of teeth.
  4. Application of decay prevention agents.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

The sticky film that constantly forms on your teeth is called plaque and is made mostly of bacteria. Some of these bacteria produce by-products (called toxins or enzymes) that can irritate the tissues that support your teeth. These by-products can damage the attachment of the gums, periodontal ligament, and bone of your teeth.

You can remove plaque with good oral hygiene – brushing your teeth twice a day and cleaning between them once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner. When plaque is not removed through good oral hygiene, it builds up along the gum line and increases your risk of developing periodontal disease.

Plaque that is not removed regularly can harden into a rough porous deposit called calculus or tartar. Tartar itself does not seem to cause disease, but it may make it more difficult for you to remove plaque, so it should be removed regularly. Tartar only can be removed when your teeth are professionally cleaned in the dental office.

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How Would I Know if I had Periodontal Disease?

It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental check-ups and periodontal examination are very important.

However, several warning signs can signal that you have a problem with periodontal disease. If you notice any of the following, see your dentist:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Pus between the teeth when the gums are pressed
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of a partial denture

Preventive Dental Hygiene for Adults and Children

In the treatment of both adults and children, the hygienist together with the dentist will examine the mouth and develop an individual course of treatment. Both adults and children can benefit from having their teeth cleaned and polished. They are taught how dental disease occurs and how it can be prevented. The hygienist cleans teeth by removing calculus (tartar) and staining. The hygienist will also apply fluoride gels and solutions to help prevent decay as well as preventative sealants (fissure sealants) to the permanent back teeth if needed.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue that supports your teeth. Your gum tissue is not attached to your teeth as high as it may seem—there is a very shallow v-shape crevice called a sulcus between the tooth and gums.

Periodontal disease attacks just below the gum line in the sulcus, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissue to break down. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket. Generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket.

Type of Periodontal Diseases

Periodontal diseases are classified according to the severity of the disease. The two major stages of the disease are gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. It develops as toxins in plaque irritate gums, making them red, tender, swollen, and likely to bleed easily. It can usually be eliminated by daily brushing, cleaning between your teeth, and regular dental cleaning.

Periodontitis

Gingivitis may lead to a more serious, destructive form of periodontal disease, called periodontitis. There are several forms of periodontitis, with the most common being chronic adult periodontitis.

Periodontitis occurs when toxins, enzymes, and other plaque byproducts destroy the tissue that anchors the teeth into the bone. The gum line recedes, which can expose the tooth’s root. Exposed roots can become susceptible to decay and sensitive to cold and touch.

As we mentioned earlier, the sulcus deepens into a pocket in the early stages of periodontal disease. Plaque that collects in these pockets can be difficult to remove during regular brushing and interdental cleaning. By-products from the plaque that collect in these pockets can continue to damage the gum, periodontal ligament and bone. In some cases, so much ligament and bone are destroyed that the tooth becomes loose. Usually, your dentist can still treat the disease at this point. In the worst of cases, a loose tooth may need to be extracted or may fall out on its own.

How Would I know if I had Periodontal Disease?

It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental check-ups and periodontal examination are very important.

However, several warning signs can signal that you have a problem with periodontal disease. If you notice any of the following, see your dentist:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Pus between the teeth when the gums are pressed
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of a partial denture

Treatment for Periodontal Disease?

The first step in treating periodontitis is through a conservative measure called scaling and root planning. Our dental hygienists will scrape and remove the plaque, bacterial toxins, and tartar deposits off of your teeth and root surface. This may take more than one visit for a thorough job and local anaesthetic can be applied to prevent discomfort. This treatment, alongside optimal at home care by the patient, should allow the gums to ideally heal and re-attach themselves to the clean surfaces of the teeth. A follow-up appointment will be made with the hygienist a few weeks after to check the healing of your gums. Gums tissues that respond well becomes firm and pink, bleeding is eliminated or reduced and pockets depths reduced. However, more advanced conditions may include a referral to a periodontist (gum specialist) if the gum tissues have not responded ideally to the treatment and require further necessary surgical intervention.

How can I Prevent Melbourne Periodontal Disease?

Daily good oral hygiene can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

  •  Brushing twice a day to remove plaque, the sticky, harmful layer of bacterial film on your teeth. Your dental hygienist/dentist can show you the proper brushing technique
  • Using fluoride-containing toothpaste to help protect teeth against cavities. How? As bacteria and sugars form acids that slowly eat away at your teeth, fluoride works by absorbing and thereby strengthen the enamel  (the protective surface around all your teeth)  so they don’t succumb to it
  • Flossing – the toothbrush alone cannot reach in between your teeth! Flossing or using another interdental cleaner is required to remove plaque from areas that are not accessible with the toothbrush. It only takes a few minutes each day and it’s just as important in maintaining oral health as brushing your teeth.
  •  If  you need extra help controlling the plaque that accumulates on your teeth your dentist/hygienist may recommend using an ADA- accepted antimicrobial mouth rinse or other oral hygiene aids as an effective addition to your daily oral hygiene routine

When choosing dental care products, look for those that display the Australian Dental Association’s seal of acceptance- this is your assurance that they have met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue that supports your teeth. Your gum tissue is not attached to your teeth as high as it may seem—there is a very shallow v-shape crevice called a sulcus between the tooth and gums.

Periodontal disease attacks just below the gum line in the sulcus, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissue to break down. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket. Generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket.

Melbourne Periodontal Treatment

Gum disease destroys the periodontal ligament which attaches the tooth to its supporting bone. Periodontal treatment aims at preventing or at least slowing this destruction. Periodontal disease has been linked to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and other general health issues. Prevention is the best philosophy but once periodontal disease is present intervention is required.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Treatment Melbourne

To find out more about how periodontal treatment Melbourne, Carnegie Dental Group can help you or to make an appointment, please contact us today.

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