Periodontal therapy is the treatment and prevention of gum disease. Healthy teeth need healthy gums and if left untreated gum disease can cause the loss of our teeth. But if we give our gums proper treatment and care, our teeth should last a lifetime.
Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection of the gums and/or the other tissues surrounding the teeth. As many as three in four of us will develop gum disease at some stage and if left too long the result can be loss of teeth.
Bacterial plaque, a sticky, colourless film, constantly forms on our teeth. When it’s not properly removed by brushing, flossing and professional cleaning, it hardens into a rough deposit called calculus, or tartar.
The bacteria in plaque produce toxins which irritate the gums and can make them red, tender, swollen and more likely to bleed.
Further along the track the toxins begin to destroy the supporting tissues around teeth, forming pockets that fill with more plaque. If allowed to progresses further, the bone that supports the teeth may be permanently damaged and unless treated, the affected teeth can become loose and are eventually lost.
Conscientious removal of plaque by brushing, flossing and professional cleanings minimizes the risks of gum disease. However, other factors can affect the health of your gums, including hereditary factors, stress, diabetes and pregnancy.
In the earlier stages of gum disease, the treatment involves scaling and root planing, which is removing plaque and calculus in the pockets around the tooth and smoothing the root surfaces. In most cases of early gum disease, scaling and root planing combined with proper daily cleaning are all that are required to bring gums back to health.
More advanced cases may require surgical treatment to remove calculus from deep pockets around the teeth, shrink the pockets, smooth the root surfaces and re-arrange gum tissue to make it easier to keep clean.
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