Within our mouths we have hundreds of thousands of bacteria and other microscopic organisms living in a community, this is called a ‘Biofilm/Plaque’. These are sticky, highly adherent and are all over our teeth, gums, lips, cheeks and tongue. Even people who brush and clean their mouths really well will still have these bacteria. As such biofilms are present in most natural places such as water lines, hulls of boats and even on the sea side!
By keeping the mouth clean with (electric) toothbrushes, interspace brushes and floss, we can keep biofilms to a minimum. However, if oral hygiene is lacking biofilm build up substantially. This thicker biofilm full of bacteria (plaque) will trigger the body’s inflammatory responses and lead to bleeding gums and irritation also known as gingivitis. This is a reversible gum condition.
Treatment of periodontal disease is often divided into stages. This varies from person to person.
- Stage One: Hygiene Phase Therapy
This stage of treatment will involve removing deposits of plaque and tartar (calculus) and will focus on improving your oral hygiene to the highest standards by self-care at home.
- Stage two: Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy Phase (Deep Cleaning)
This may be carried out with/ without local anesthetic, using mechanical and/or hand instruments to flush out the gums and remove the tartar (calculus), bacterial plaque & toxins deep below the gum line. The proposed treatment may take anything between 1-4 appointments.
- Stage three: Supportive Care Therapy
Supportive care therapy is to support you during the healing phase of the treatment and to make sure that you are doing your best with plaque control at home. We also check if your gums are healing well, inflammation & bleeding is settling down and keep an eye on your progress.
If we manage to get your disease under control, then you move to the “maintenance phase” which is outlined below.
- Stage four: Maintenance Phase
If all your gum pockets are within a range that you can sufficiently maintain at home and the gum disease looks stable, we will move you towards the “maintenance phase”.
Maintaining a hygienic mouth at home is the most important part in keeping the disease at bay. Seeing your dentist/hygienist regularly will make sure any problems are picked up early enough.