Gum disease is one of the most prevalent health issues in Australia. It is estimated that 25% of Australians 35 to 54 years of age have periodontitis, with the prevalence increasing to over 40% among those aged 55 – 74 years, and approximately 60% for those aged above 75 years old.
With shocking numbers like those, it’s no surprise that at Smiles Nambour we are dedicated to helping patients prevent and treat gum disease.
Risk Factors For Gum Disease
The risk factors for gum disease suggest some of the things you can do to avoid gum disease, or aid recovery from it.
- Inadequate Oral Hygiene. This is far and away the most common cause of gum disease.
- Smoking. Need another reason to quit smoking? Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease. Additionally, smoking can lower the chances for successful treatment.
- Hormonal changes in girls/women. These changes can make gums more sensitive and make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
- Diabetes. People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease.
- Other illnesses and their treatments. Diseases such as AIDS and its treatments can also negatively affect the health of gums, as can treatments for cancer.
- Medications. There are hundreds of prescription and over the counter medications that can reduce the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on the mouth. Without enough saliva, the mouth is vulnerable to infections such as gum disease. And some medicines can cause abnormal overgrowth of the gum tissue; this can make it difficult to keep teeth and gums clean.
- Genetic susceptibility. Some people are more prone to severe gum disease than others.
- Poor diet. Poor diet can lead to general and oral health infections.
Take our Gum Disease Risk Quiz
So, do everything you can to stay healthy, and work with your dentist and doctor if you do share any of these risk factors.
What Treatments are Available?
The purpose of gum disease treatment is to control any infection that already exists and thus halt the development of the disease. Taking care of your teeth at home and eating well are great starts toward oral health, but the only way to cure gum disease is to see a professional dentist.
Scaling and Root Planing. If your dentist concludes you have bone loss or that your gums are receding, one common treatment is a rigorous deep cleaning, non-surgical method known as scaling and root planing. Scaling is scraping the plaque and tartar away from below and above the gum line. Root planing removes rough spots on the tooth root where bacteria build up. This smooth and clean surface assists the gums in reattaching to the teeth.
Curettage. This treatment consists of scraping away unhealthy gum tissue from the infected area and then allowing it to heal.
Flap Surgery. Your dentist lifts the gums away and removes tartar as needed. They will then sew the gums back in position so the tissue fits firmly around the teeth.
Bone grafts. This procedure involves using fragments of your own bone, synthetic bone, or donated bone to replace destroyed bone. The grafts serve as a platform for the regrowth of bone, which restores a foundation for your teeth.
Soft tissue grafts. This procedure reinforces thin gums or fills in places where gums have receded. Grafted tissue, most often taken from the roof of the mouth, is stitched in place, adding tissue to the affected area.
Guided tissue regeneration. Performed in combination with flap surgery, a small piece of mesh-like fabric is inserted between the bone and gum tissue to stop gum tissue from growing where bone should be. This allows the bone and connective tissue to regrow to better support the teeth.
Medications. Your dentist may prescribe medications to help control the bacteria that cause gum disease. Antibiotic gels, fibres and chips can also be directly applied to the infected area. Occasionally, a dentist might prescribe an anti-germ mouth rinse to control plaque and gingivitis.
Start the Fight at Home!
One of the first things Smiles Nambour recommends is good oral hygiene practices at home. Since dental plaque is the main cause of periodontal disease, its removal on a daily basis is essential. For many patients this involves adopting better oral hygiene, along with cessation of smoking, good diet, and other lifestyle changes.
Dentistry at Smiles Nambour
If a member of your family needs special care due to diabetes or any other health issue, Smiles Nambour is the perfect choice for you. At Smiles Nambour , your trusted dentist in the Nambour Region, we provide top-quality dentistry with the help of cutting-edge instruments and caring staff!
A visit to Smiles Nambour is an investment in your dental health and attractive smile!