Periodontics is the science of treating and maintaining the area of the bone and gums that house the root of the tooth.
Gum disease is an insidious disease that attacks the supporting structures of the teeth. You can have great teeth – no cavities, terrific enamel, perfectly aligned, and yet lose them to gum disease as you age.
A registered dental hygienist is specially trained to recognise and treat gum disease and tooth decay.
Regular visits to the hygienist will help to prevent Periodontal (gum) disease, bleeding gums and dental decay (caries). Gum disease is an extremely common problem and affects over 80% of adults to some degree. Left untreated, gum disease can damage and eventually destroy the bone supporting your teeth resulting in tooth loss. Gum disease has also been linked to other health problems such as heart-disease.
Symptoms to watch out for are:
- Gums that bleed when you brush
- Gums that look red and puffy
- Gums that have come away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Permanent teeth that are loose or changing position.
What your hygienist can do:
- An assessment – to record and measure the extent of any gum problems
- Scaling and Polishing – to remove any plaque and tartar from the teeth.
- Root Planing – a special procedure for more advanced gum disease which involves cleaning the root surface.
- Review and Maintenance – once gum disease is under control regular visits for cleaning and monitoring are very important.