Gum disease – hygiene treatment

published December 5th, 2008

We need your co-operation, because it is your mouth and your health

Traditionally, hygiene treatment has taken the form of a cleaning visit approximately every 6 months. However, in the light of new research, we now know that we need to devote more time to improved hygiene procedures.

Gum disease is the most common cause of adult tooth loss around the world today. It often starts without symptoms or awareness, and is caused by infectious bacteria which multiply when your resistance is lowered for whatever reason. New research allows us to control these bacteria.

When we examine your mouth we shall be classifying the state of your gums according to the world-wide codes for categorising gum disease:

  • Code 0  Clinical health – No gum disease
  • Code 1  Bleeding gums – on brushing or probing
  • Code 2  Calculus (or tartar) – which cause gum inflammation
  • Code 3  Pocket development – progressive destruction
  • Code 4  Pockets over 5,5mm – severe advanced disease

It is highly recommended to monitor your dental condition on every visit by charting certain parameters:

  • Plaque scores
  • Bleeding points
  • Pocket dimensions
  • Mobilities

This will enable us to see, at each visit, whether your gum condition is improving, deteriorating, or remaining the same.

For healthy gums, we must keep a plaque score below 10%

Number of appointments – we will need to see you for as many appointments as are necessary for you to achieve and maintain a plaque score below 10%. For most patients’ this will mean probably two appointments in the first instance; if the gum condition is more destructive then up to five or more appointments may be necessary. The first step in treating your mouth will be to teach you to understand your bacteria, so you can begin to realize why you are like you are, in spite of whatever efforts you have been making. We shall also teach you how to control your disease once a day through disruption of these bacteria. Together with our team member you will co-discover why you have some areas of bacterial infection and how to deal with these so that your mouth remains healthy.  The hygienist will carefully clean and polish every surface of every tooth so that the bacteria can be kept under control. Some bacteria always live normally in your mouth, and it is a matter of keeping these bacteria under control.

Once you are able to keep these bacteria under control we shall place you on our recare wellness maintenance program. To determine your risk for gum diseases we will obtain special unique test for it. To maintain healthy gums we need to maintain the following criteria:

  1. No gum pockets over 3mm
  2. No bleeding when brushing or probing
  3. No mouth odour
  4. No calculus either above or below the gums
  5. No discharge or matter in the pockets
  6. No redness or discolouration of the gums
  7. No plaque scores over 10%
  8. No heavy stains

Our team member will also be carrying out a regular polishing of the teeth and irrigation of the gum pockets to stop bacteria from re-colonising. It only takes bacteria 6 weeks to organize themselves and stick to the surfaces of the teeth. It takes another 6 weeks for the toxins and waste products of the bacteria to cause disease of the gum tissues – leading to gingivitis and periodontitis. We must prevent this from happening, so the hygienist will instruct you in how frequently you need to be seen on the recare wellness maintenance program

Whether you do so is entirely up to you.

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