About gum disease

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we get about gum disease. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call or send an email.


What is dental plaque?

Dental plaque is a soft, furry layer that forms on your teeth and gums, and contains millions of bacteria. It is easy to remove with daily brushing and flossing of your teeth and gums. Plaque that is not removed will harden over time into a substance called tartar or calculus. This can't be dislodged with regular brushing or flossing, and can only be removed with professional teeth cleaning.

What is gingivitis?

Healthy gums are firm and light pink in colour. If plaque isn't removed from teeth, the bacteria within plaque release toxins that cause gums to become red and inflamed. Inflammation of the gums is called Gingivitis and is the first stage of gum disease. This can be easily prevented with regular tooth brushing and flossing, but left untreated will lead to periodontal disease. We recommend regular check-ups and teeth cleaning appointments, to assess the health of your gums and oral hygiene, and discuss ways to improve your brushing and flossing techniques.

What is periodontal disease?

Gingivitis is completely reversible with good oral hygiene and expert dental care, but if left untreated will progress to a more severe form of Gum Disease called Periodontitis. Attempts by your immune system to eliminate plaque and bacteria in your mouth causes the destruction of bone and gum tissue supporting your teeth, leading to gum recession and the eventual loss of teeth. Treatment of periodontal disease usually requires lifelong maintenance including regular brushing and interdental cleaning (flossing), and regular check-ups by a dentist, hygienist or specialist periodontist.

What are the signs of gum disease?

1. Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing 2. Gums that are tender or uncomfortable 3. Gums that look red or swollen 4. An unpleasant taste or odour in your mouth 5. Teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold 6. Teeth that feel like they are moving 7. Teeth that look longer due to receding gums 8. Spaces developing between your teeth 9. Change in your bite due to your tooth moving

What can contribute to Gum Disease?

This is a list of factors that don't cause gum disease but make you more susceptible to it. Controlling these will reduce your risk of gum disease. 1. Smoking 2. Hormonal changes (eg. pregnancy) 3. Stress 4. Medications 5. Poor nutrition 6. Illness 7. Poor oral hygiene 8. Treatment Options 9. Poorly shaped dental fillings that make teeth cleaning difficult 10. Crowded teeth that make teeth cleaning difficult

How can gum disease be treated?

Home care Brushing and interdental cleaning- usually flossing to remove plaque and prevent tarter build up Regular dental teeth cleaning Bacteria that isn't removed from brushing and flossing forms a hard substance called tartar. Usual oral hygiene practices can't remove this, and professional cleaning is the only way to treat gum disease. Root planing A build-up of bacteria on the root surfaces of your teeth, may require treatment with root planing. This makes the surfaces of your tooth roots smooth, so bacteria finds it more difficult to stick to them. Antibiotics These can sometimes be used together with teeth cleaning and root planing, and can be of benefit when treating more advanced stages of periodontal disease. Surgical treatment Cases of advanced periodontal disease may require surgical treatment, to gain access to the root surfaces of affected teeth, and to properly clean below the gum line.

+ Load More