Gingivitis: What is it?
One of the characteristics of gingivitis is reversible damage. At this stage a professional cleaning with your dentist or hygienist to remove the bacterial plaque build-up is necessary to prevent permanent damage.
After initial diagnostic scans and measurements the health of your gums can be categorised and quantified. If you have gingivitis your dental professional will use specialised hand instruments and ultrasonic scalers which shatter and wash away any hardened calculus. Any soft plaque (that furry feeling when you forget to brush your teeth) and staining will be removed with a pumice polishing paste.
Further information on how we treat gum disease can be found here.
Periodontitis is characterised by the permanent damage to and loss of bone surrounding your teeth. When soft plaque isn’t removed often or well enough it mixes with saliva, hardening and forming calculus. This calcified build up sticks to the root surface, deep below the gum line like barnacles on the underside of a boat. As we outlined in Blog Article 8, the bacteria burrows into the gum pocket causing inflammation and infection, dissolving the jaw bone.
When bacteria builds up in these deep gum pockets and you are unable to keep them clean with regular tooth brushing and flossing, we employ periodontal cleaning. This involves specialised instruments and the development of a tailored treatment plan to combat the disease process.
This differs from gingivitis treatment in that it involves deep cleaning and flushing of the infected gum pocket. Additionally, periodontal cleaning may require one to four appointments, depending on the amount of build-up and depth of the pockets and at times, local anaesthetic.
Eight to 12 weeks after the initial deep cleaning the gums will need to be reviewed for healing. At this time we are able to assess any weak spots in your oral hygiene regime at home and remove the bacteria you are unable to reach at with floss or a toothbrush. The healing process is heavily dependent on your oral hygiene habits at home.
Once the gum pockets have healed, professional cleaning every 3-6 months is required to keep your gum condition stable.