Gum Disease

Treat symptoms of gum disease early to avoid irreversible damage to your oral health.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease (also known as Periodontal disease) is a common and often, painful, inflammatory condition which affects the gums.

It attacks the supporting and surrounding soft tissues of the tooth, and in advanced stages, can result in loss of teeth and even affect the jawbone.

A diagram showing a tooth being inspected for gum disease

What are symptoms of gum disease?

What are the causes of gum disease?

What types of gum disease are there?

A diagram of gingivitis impacting tooth health

Gingivitis

An inflammation of the gums. The first stage of gum disease is caused by the build-up of plaque. This produces toxins which irritate the gums making them tender red and inflamed. There is often a small amount of bleeding and is usually noticed by the patients who report seeing blood on their toothbrushes.

A diagram showing the impact of chronic periodontis

Chronic Periodontis

This is the most common form of periodontal disease seen amongst adults. Chronic Periodontitis is when the inflammation of the supporting tissue causes deep pockets and gum recession. Gum recession is usually visible and results in the appearance that the teeth are lengthening. which appear as though the teeth are lengthening. In actual fact this is the result of the gums (gingiva) shrinking and receding.

A diagram of aggressive periodontis

Aggressive Periodontitis

Usually begins in childhood or early adulthood and affects only a small number of people. It tends to be a genetic disease but can affect people without a family history of the disease. Aggressive periodontis causes rapid progression of bone loss and tooth loss if untreated.

A diagram of Necrotising periodontis showing gum deterioration around the tooth

Necrotising Periodontal Disease

Characterised by the death of gum tissue, tooth ligaments and supporting bone caused by lack of blood supply (necrosis), resulting in severe infection. This type generally occurs in people with a suppressed immune system — such as from HIV infection, cancer treatment or other causes — and malnutrition.

Your Gum Disease Treatment with Dr Finkelstein

Initial diagnosis and treatment of gum disease would be carried out in our clinic. Advanced cases may be referred to a specialised periodontist. The following treatments are likely depending on the severity of gum disease.

Step 1

Assessment & Cleaning

A complete periodontal examination and x-rays of the your mouth and jaw is made. The calculus (tartar) surrounding your teeth is removed. If there are gum pockets surrounding the teeth, these are assessed, measured and cleaned.

Step 2

Preventative Treatment

If necessary, antibiotics and a prescription mouthwash are prescribed to alleviate the symptoms. A simple but effective daily cleaning routine is explained to you, including the use of special toothbrushes, dental floss, Piksters, and mouthwash.

Step 3

Grafting

Grafting procedures can be used to encourage gum regrowth. This consists of inserting a membrane into the affected areas to accelerate the regeneration process.

Step 4

Pocket Elimination Surgery

Pocket Elimination Surgery or ‘flap surgery’ can be performed to reduce the size of the space or pockets between your teeth and the gums. Surgery on the jawbone is another method which helps eliminate the indentations in the bone which may house the harmful bacteria.

Step 5

Teeth Replacement

If teeth have been lost due to periodontal disease, it is important to insert replacement teeth, ideally these are implanted into the jawbone in order to restore the functionality of the mouth. Tissue regeneration procedures to strengthen the jawbone may be necessary before the dental implant is placed.
An up close photo of a gum being inspected by a dentist
Dental examination

How do I to Prevent Gum Disease?

Good oral hygiene habits will aid in avoid issues such as gum disease, bone loss and tooth decay. Periodontal disease can be prevented and corrected by:

Are you worried about gum disease?

Get a professional diagnosis with Dr. Finkelstein and make your mouth happy again.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.  Dr Finkelstein will explain these to you carefully at the time of your consultation as well as address any questions you may have.  We also recommend before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.