What causes Periodontal disease?
Periodontal (gum and bone) disease is an infection caused by bacteria. In about a days time, mouth bacteria multiply and form a sticky, almost invisible film on the teeth called plaque. Plaque that is not removed by regular brushing and flossing can harden into calculus (tartar). In some cases the plaque and calculus cause the gums to become red and inflamed and may bleed when brushing. This condition is called gingivitis. Over time, toxins in plaque can cause the tooth’s supporting tissue and bone to be destroyed, forming a hidden pocket between the tooth and gum. Your dentist and hygienist will use a special periodontal probe to measure the depth of these hidden pockets. The depth of this pocket (bone loss), in conjunction with other clinical symptoms like bleeding is the main indicator for the presence of periodontitis.
Do you have periodontal disease?
If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to bleeding, discomfort, receding gums and tooth loss. More than 50% of South Africans 30 years and older have gingivitis and more than 33% have periodontitis. Periodontal disease affects 3 out of 4 people at some point in life.
Why is this important to you?
Dental research has recently linked periodontal disease to an increased rate of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease and pre-term and low-birth weight babies. Routine periodontal examinations and care, as well as proper home hygiene care is the key to maintaining your oral health and preventing serious dental and systemic problems.
Treatment of Periodontal disease
Prevention is better than cure! Our dentists, aided by our hygienists, are ready to teach you how to brush and floss properly. This is still the best defense against periodontal disease. A professional cleaning appointment includes a scale and polish and should be done every six months. If you already suffer from periodontal disease, a tailor-made therapeutic program will be created and followed based upon your diagnosis. Unfortunately, once you have had periodontal disease, you will always remain at a higher risk to relapse into the disease again. It is thus imperative that you maintain your health by engaging in our periodontal recall and maintenance program.