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Periodontal Disease

Posted by Anzac Avenue Dental Team on 9 July 2020
Periodontal Disease

Periodontal (perio or gum) disease is a bacterial infection that occurs under the gums and causes, bleeding, pain, halitosis (bad breath) and bone loss from the jaws. 

It is caused by a build up of calculus, bacteria and food that collects in "pockets" under the gum line that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush or floss.  Perio disease can also occur if correct brushing and flossing techniques are not used, or oral hygiene is not maintained.   Also, some medical conditions and medications change the acidity levels of your saliva and in turn allow the bacteria to be produced more readily. These include:

  • Diabetes
  • Cholesterol medications
  • Anti-depressant medications
  • Hormones present during pregnancy and menopause
Some of the symptoms you can expect to notice with perio disease include:
  • Bleeding when you brush or floss
  • Halitosis or bad breath
  • Pain either mild or intermittent sharp or aching pain
  • Tooth instability your teeth should not "wobble" unless you are 6 years old.

Your dentist will be able to diagnose perio disease through examination, pocket probing, digital radiographs, and i-CAT sans.  Once diagnosed, a clinical perio analysis is done.  This involves an examination of the pocket depths at each tooth.  If your  dentist diagnoses you with periodontal disease, take it seriously.  It is a condition that needs treatment urgently.

Why is perio disease so bad?
Perio disease or gum disease causes bone loss to occur in the jaw.  The bacteria gradually eats away at the bone.  This means that the bone that holds your teeth in place is reduced.  Teeth can begin to move and become "wobbly".  The end result of perio disease is the loss of your teeth.

Recent studies have also indicated that perio disease can have an adverse effect on you general  health.   Perio disease has been linked to conditions such as heart disease, premature birth and adult onset diabetes.  We may refer you to a medical practitioner for further diagnosis of these conditions.

How is perio disease treated?
Periodontal treatment involves several stages.
  • Clinical perio analysis to determine the level and extent of the disease.
  • A course of perio treatment which uses very fine dental instruments to curette the pockets and remove the infection.  This may involve one or many treatments.  This procedure is done using local anesthetic so you will feel no discomfort.
  • Ongoing monitoring and intermittent treatment as required.

To schedule your next preventive care visit, call us on 07 3491 8131

Author: Anzac Avenue Dental Team
Tags: General dental

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