What are Gum Diseases?
Gum or Periodontal diseases are a wide range of diseases that affect the gums. The most common types of periodontal disease are gingivitis and periodontitis.
Management of Gum Diseases
If you're told you have periodontal disease, your dentist may propose a range of treatments or refer you to a gum specialist or periodontist for treatment. Depending on your disease severity your periodontist may increase “step up” or decrease “step down” your treatment until your gums are healthy.
Antibiotics and Gum Diseases
Routine treatment for gum disease involves deep cleaning the root surfaces of the teeth, normally under local anaesthetic and showing the patient how to brush and clean in between the teeth well. This procedure may need to be repeated before the gums are healthy again. On the occasion that this treatment alone does not result in healthy gums, the periodontist may choose to prescribe antibiotics
Importance of Good Oral Hygiene
Plaque needs to be removed thoroughly and frequently to prevent formation of calculus (tartar), which once formed cannot be removed with a toothbrush. Professional cleaning is required to remove calculus and plaque on root surfaces where deep pockets may prevent access for oral hygiene devices.
Gum Diseases and Systemic Inflammation - A Healthy Mouth for a Healthy Body
The term "Periodontal Medicine" refers to a branch of periodontology focussing on how periodontal health and disease and systemic health and disease are inter-realated.
Gum Diseases and Systemic Health
For many years the mouth was viewed as separate to the rest of the body, but of course it isn’t. Research investigating the systemic effects of periodontitis has shown that there is a two-way relationship between diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as adverse pregnancy outcomes. In addition, obesity may affect periodontal disease. This page provides an overview of these interactions.
Smoking and Gum Disease
Quitting smoking is the single most important action a patient can take to help control their periodontal disease. Smoking by itself does not cause periodontal disease but it can make it significantly worse. As a risk factor, smokers are somewhere between 270 - 700% more likely to have significant periodontal disease than non-smokers.
Gum Diseases and Halitosis
Halitosis or bad breath is a common and sometimes embarrassing problem that manifests as unpleasant mouth odour.