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Skill & Artistry | Dental Hygienist


Periodontal Disease


When plaque (soft deposits) and calculus or tartar (hard deposits) are left on your teeth, the toxins in the bacteria irritate the gums and cause inflammation or gingivitis.

When this inflammation of the gums is left untreated, the inflammation can extend into the ligaments and bone structures that support the teeth. This disease is called periodontitis or periodontal disease.


The effects of this inflammation may not be reversible, but the disease’s progress can be controlled and/or halted. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of adult tooth loss.


Warning signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Shrinking gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Changes in spaces between teeth
  • Or no symptoms 


There are several indicators that your dentist or dental hygienist looks for when determining the presence of periodontal disease.


These include:

  • Probe readings greater than 3mm
  • Swollen and red gums
  • Bleeding upon probing
  • Bone loss and/or tartar on x-rays


There are 4 classifications of Adult Periodontal disease:

  • Mild or slight
  • Advanced
  • Moderate
  • Rapidly progressive



Treatment of Periodontal Disease


Periodontal disease may or may not be difficult to treat depending on the severity of the disease. If the periodontal disease is mild, regular visits to the dental hygienist for scaling and root planing may all that is required to keep the disease under control. However, if you have a more severe form of the disease, scaling and root planing alone may not be sufficient and your dentist may refer you to a specialist for further treatment.




Treatment Aftercare


Sometimes after dental hygiene treatment you may find your gums are tender. If this occurs, Panadeine, Nurofen or your usual pain relief medication can be taken to relieve the tenderness. You may also use a salt water rinse (1/2 tsp salt in 250ml warm water), to alleviate the tenderness and to aid in healing.


As your gums begin to heal, you may notice your gums may begin to recede or shrink and your teeth feel more sensitive to cold. This is often normal. If this occurs, using sensitivity toothpaste such as Sensodyne may alleviate these symptoms. If these problems persist, we may be able to recommend other products or treatments.




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