Gum disease (periodontal disease) destroys gums and even the bone tissue which surround and support the teeth. Left untreated, it will eventually lead to tooth loss.
What are the stages of gum disease?
There are three stages of gum disease:
The earliest stage of gum disease, this refers to inflammation of the gums, caused by dental plaque build-up at the gum line. Gums may appear red, swollen and some bleeding may occur during brushing and flossing. At this stage, gum disease can be reversed with treatment, since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected.
At this stage, the supporting bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. The gums form deep pockets below the gum line, which encourages penetration and growth of plaque. Gum treatment and improved oral hygiene techniques can usually help prevent further damage to the gum tissue, supporting tissue and bone. This means that gum health can be improved and maintained but bone loss that has occurred cannot be restored naturally.
- Advanced Periodontitis
In this advanced stage of gum disease, the supporting bone and connective tissue of the teeth have been destroyed, causing teeth to shift or loosen. This can affect biting, chewing and speech. If gum treatment cannot save the affected teeth, they may need to be extracted. The dentist will provide replacement options if teeth are removed. The gums still need to be treated before any teeth can be replaced successfully and optimally.
Gum Curettage is the treatment for moderate gum disease. The procedure involves using an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque, tartar and food debris above and below the gum line. Special instruments are then used to manually scale around the tooth and root surfaces to make them smooth and disease-free. Gum treatments are usually done over a few visits as the work is extensive and time-consuming. Local anaesthetic is often administered.
Our clinic offers LAD (light-activated disinfection) or laser gum curettage which make almost painless single-session gum treatment possible. Moreover, these methods destroy bacteria in deep gum pockets, promoting faster and better recovery.
Post Treatment Care
The most critical factor for successful resolution of gum disease is strict adherence to post-treatment oral hygiene and home care routines. Negligence leads to recurrence of gum disease. Routine cleaning by the dental professional every 4 to 6 months is also crucial in preventing bacterial reaccumulation.