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Periodontal (Gum) Disease
The main cause of periodontal disease is bacteria in the form of either a sticky, colourless plaque (the layer the toothbrush can remove) that constantly forms on your teeth, or hard dark coloured deposits. However, many factors can cause periodontal disease, or influence its progression.
Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth like a turtleneck around your neck. When you have periodontal disease, this supporting tissue and bone is destroyed, forming “pockets” around the teeth.
Over time, these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live. As bacteria develop around the teeth, they can accumulate and advance under the gum tissue. These deep pockets collect even more bacteria, resulting in further bone and tissue loss. Eventually, too much bone is lost, and the teeth need to be extracted.
Periodontal treatment aims at removing the bacteria present around the teeth in the form of plaque and tartar, to create an environment that is conducive to gum healing and re-attachment of the gum tissues to the teeth. This treatment can be done either surgically or non-surgically, depending on how advanced the gum disease is and the individual circumstance and needs of each patient.