Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
- There are two stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis
- Gingivitis is reversible while periodontitis is not
- Gum disease may present with no pain
- If left untreated, gum disease can cause receding gums, loose teeth and tooth loss
- Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits can help prevent gum disease
- Gum disease is widespread in Australia – moderate or severe gum disease is present in 22.9% of the population
Gum disease is a serious and mostly preventable disease
There are two main stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gum disease can be painless, so look carefully for signs of gum disease and ask your dentist to examine your mouth if you have any concerns.
STAGE I: Gingivitis
Signs and symptoms of gingivitis
- Gums become red and swollen
- Gums may easily bleed when brushing or flossing
- Bad breath
STAGE 2: Periodontitis
Signs and symptoms of periodontitis
- Bright red, dusky red or purple gums
- Swollen, puffy gums
- Receding gums
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Loose teeth or teeth falling out
- Painful chewing
- New spaces developing between teeth
- Bad breath
- Change in bite (the way teeth come together)
Early prevention is crucial to avoid gum disease. And the good news is it’s not complicated.
How to prevent gum disease
Make sure you do the following to keep your gums free from disease:
- Gently brush your teeth and gums twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush, using fluoride toothpaste. If you experience mild bleeding, don’t be put off; it’s still important to brush
- Floss your teeth once a day with a good 40 cm of dental floss
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleaning
- Drink plenty of water
- Minimise your consumption of sugary foods and drinks
- If you do indulge in the odd sugary food or beverage, rinse your mouth with water afterwards
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco
Certain risk factors increase your chances of developing periodontitis, including:
- Poor oral health
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Certain diseases such as untreated diabetes, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis
- Certain medications that cause dry mouth or gum changes
- Recreational drug use such as vaping or smoking marijuana
Gum disease treatment
If your gum disease has advanced to periodontal disease, the condition cannot be reversed. Instead, you’ll need to control the condition. Your dentist will also help control the disease with professional cleaning treatments. For advanced gum disease, scaling and route planning may be performed to treat the bacteria-filled periodontal pockets. If you have periodontal pockets of more than 5 mm deep (which means you have moderate to severe periodontitis), your dentist may suggest gingival flap surgery performed by a periodontist. This surgery will reduce the periodontal pockets and remove deposits from root surfaces. Additionally, they may provide a bone graft to restore lost bone and prevent your teeth from falling out.
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Our Preferred Providers
Dr Stephen Jiang
Dr. Stephen Jiang is a highly skilled and experienced dentist with over 20 years of private practice experience. He obtained his dental degree from the University of Adelaide, where he excelled in his studies and received comprehensive training in various dental procedures. He also holds a PhD in medical and dental research.
Prior to establishing SJ Dental, Dr. Jiang worked in the public sector where he provided dental care to the general population. He has a passion for oral health and prevention, and he is committed to educating his patients on how to maintain optimal oral health.
Dr. Jiang has a broad range of expertise in all general dentistry, and he has a keen interest in oral surgery and complex dentistry. He is also experienced in both orthodontics and implant dentistry, and he is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in dental technology and techniques.
Outside of work, Dr. Jiang enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family and grandkids. He believes in maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and he brings that philosophy to his practice by creating a warm and welcoming environment for his patients.
Patients describe Dr. Jiang as a compassionate and skilled dentist who puts their comfort and well-being first. With so many years of clinical experience behind him, he is sure to provide the best care for the entire family. Whether you need routine dental care or more complex treatments, you can trust Dr. Jiang to provide the highest quality dental care while keeping your overall well-being in mind.
Dr John Xu
Patients have always appreciated Dr. Xu's gentle and polite personality, and many have found him to provide excellent service for all aspects of dentistry. Dr. Xu has a keen interest in preventative care, root canal treatment, and Invisalign treatment, and he is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in dental technology and techniques.
Outside of work, Dr. Xu enjoys cooking, and he has worked as a Japanese chef in the past during his university years. He continues to pursue his passion for cooking in his free time. He also enjoys spending time with his young children and family.
Patients describe Dr. Xu as a caring and skilled dentist who puts their comfort and well-being first. With his gentle approach and dedication to excellence, he is sure to provide the best possible care for all of his patients. Whether you need routine dental care or more complex treatments, you can trust Dr. Xu to provide the highest quality dental care while keeping your overall well-being in mind.
Dr Louise Chew
Dr. Chew has a keen interest in preventative dental care, cosmetic procedures, and Invisalign treatment. Patients appreciate her gentle touch and compassionate approach to dentistry, and she is dedicated to providing the highest quality dental care to all of her patients.
Outside of work, Dr. Chew enjoys spending time with her family, and she loves to travel with them. Her passion for exploring new places and cultures has taken her to many different parts of the world, and she brings that same sense of adventure and curiosity to her work as a dentist.
Whether you need routine dental care or more complex treatments, Dr. Chew is committed to providing the best possible care for all of her patients. With her gentle touch, compassionate approach, and dedication to excellence, you can trust Dr. Chew to help you achieve the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve.