Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Gum disease is a serious oral health issue
affecting many people, resulting in bleeding
when tooth brushing and other discomforts.

Many people, especially if they haven't been properly brushing and flossing, begin to have problems with their gums as they get older.

Periodontal Disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection of the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth. It is a leading cause of tooth loss and is most often caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that is brushed and flossed away with proper oral care. When left on the teeth, plaque produces toxins that attack below the gum line in the sulcus - the shallow v-shaped crevice between the tooth and gums. This causes the bond between teeth and gums to break down.

Left untreated, gum disease not only can lead to tooth loss, but is also associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other health complications.


In the early stage of gum disease, a condition known as gingivitis, where gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. In the more advanced stage (periodontal disease), teeth can loosen and even fall out. Good oral hygiene and regular dental examinations are essential in the prevention and early detection of gum disease.

Gum damage or loss is a serious condition. Identification, early treatment and, of course, prevention of this ailment is essential for your oral health.

At ArtSmiles Gold Coast, our dentists use the best technology and expertise in identifying gum disease and we provide guidance on treatment options and education on best dental practices to prevent the development of gum disease.

Periodontal Disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection of the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth. It is a leading cause of tooth loss and is most often caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that is brushed and flossed away with proper oral care. When left on the teeth, plaque produces toxins that attack below the gum line in the sulcus - the shallow v-shaped crevice between the tooth and gums. This causes the bond between teeth and gums to break down.

Left untreated, gum disease not only can lead to tooth loss, but is also associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other health complications.
At ArtSmiles Gold Coast, our dentists use the best technology and expertise in identifying gum disease and we provide guidance on treatment options and education on best dental practices to prevent the development of gum disease.

No insurance? No Worries!

The ArtSmiles Club is a great solution for those who do not have Private Dental Insurance. It allows uninsured individuals and families to gain access to routine preventive care and emergency exams at no extra cost and additional services at a reduced cost (Up to 30% off).

No insurance? No Worries!

The ArtSmiles Club is a great solution for those who do not have Private Dental Insurance. It allows uninsured individuals and families to gain access to routine preventive care and emergency exams at no extra cost and additional services at a reduced cost (Up to 30% off).

schedule an appointment now

or call us on (07) 5588 3677

Symptoms Of Periodontal Disease

dental services gold coast
You might not even realise you’re in need of periodontal therapy. In early cases of periodontal disease there are often no noticeable symptoms, although damage to the gums is still occurring. The common symptoms of gingivitis are:
  • Changes in the colour of the gums from a healthy salmon pink to bright red or purple
  • Bleeding gums when you brush, floss, or eat certain foods
  • Puffiness or swelling of the gum line
  • Tenderness to the touch when eating or brushing
  • Higher incidence of painful mouth sores

Any of the above is a symptom of periodontal gum disease and you must schedule an appointment with the dentist as soon as possible. 

As the disease progresses, patients may experience:

  •  Gums have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus coming from the gums
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

Once symptoms are detected, your dentist may perform a series of tests in order to determine the severity of the condition and extent of the damage. This may include X-ray exams, full evaluation of your medical history and underlying conditions, and examination with a dental probe to detect any periodontal pockets.

If you are suffering from periodontal disease, schedule an Appointment today!

Causes Of Periodontal Disease

In most cases, the development of gum disease starts with plaque — a sticky film composed mainly of bacteria. If left untreated, here’s how plaque can eventually advance to periodontitis:

Plaque forms on your teeth when starches and sugars in food interact with bacteria normally found in your mouth. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day removes plaque, but plaque re-forms quickly.

Plaque can harden under your gumline into tartar (calculus) if it stays on your teeth. The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more damage they can do. You can’t get rid of tartar by brushing and flossing — you need a professional dental cleaning to remove it.

Plaque can cause gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. Gingivitis is irritation and inflammation of the part of your gum tissue around the base of your teeth (gingiva). Gingivitis can be reversed with professional treatment and good home oral care.

Ongoing gum inflammation can cause periodontitis, eventually causing pockets to develop between your gums and teeth that fill with plaque, tartar and bacteria. In time, these pockets become deeper, filling with more bacteria. If not treated, these deep infections cause a loss of tissue and bone, and ultimately you may lose one or more teeth. Also, ongoing chronic inflammation can put a strain on your immune system



Treatments

Once gum disease has set in, there are numerous surgical and non-surgical procedures used to treat and maintain periodontal disease. These treatments, coupled with an excellent oral hygiene routine, and healthy lifestyle habits can aid in reversing the effects of periodontal disease and prevent further damage to gum tissue.

The first step in our office is a very thorough cleaning. This will clean deep into the gums near the root surface; removing the plaque and tartar, and then smoothing out the tooth surface to remove bacteria. This is often followed by a treatment to kill any bacteria that may still be left. This basic level of treatment is usually sufficient when followed by periodical touch-up treatment.

Occasionally a patient’s periodontal disease has reached a level where surgery is necessary. There are a few different surgical procedures the dentist may recommend. If a Pocket Reduction procedure is needed, the dentist will pull the gum off the tooth or teeth and do a thorough cleaning of that area, and then replace and re-attach the gums to the tooth or teeth.  Crown Lengthening is a periodontal treatment where the dentist will move the visible gum line farther from the tip of the tooth to change a “gummy” smile into a more aesthetic smile.

Our experts will use their experience and expertise to determine the best course of action for your case.

Learn more about some of the possible treatments:

Dr. Cristian Dunker understands that periodontal health should be achieved with efficient, minimally invasive, and cost-effective ways, to best benefit each patient.

Therefore, at ArtSmiles, we offer a wide range of non-surgical procedures to help patients achieve optimal periodontal health.

The primary purpose of nonsurgical periodontal rehabilitation is to treat periodontal disease, by carefully removing bacteria and other toxins from under the gums and root surfaces. Healthy gum tissue should securely fit around each tooth. However, in the case of periodontal disease, bacteria from plaque buildup can spread underneath the gums, damaging the gum tissue and causing pockets to form between the tissue and the tooth. If you display signs of aggressive gum disease, including severe bacteria and tartar buildup and formation of deep pockets, scaling and root planning is most likely the first procedure your dental care provider will use as part of the initial therapy.

Following the non-surgical procedure, Dr. Cristian Dunker may also perform additional therapy to further treat the infections, including treatment with antimicrobial medicine or systematic antibiotics.

In the case where non-surgical therapy does not resolve in sufficient pocket depth reduction, further surgical pocket reduction may be necessary. In these cases, Dr. Cristian Dunker will assess your needs and determine the best course of treatment for you.

When plaque and tartar are left unaddressed, it promotes an environment for bacteria to thrive. Bacteria causes gum irritation and sensitivity which can make it easier for your gums to bleed. If you experience slight bleeding when you brush or eat, you may have gingivitis–the first stage of gum disease.

Scaling and root planning is the processes of removing the buildup of plaque and tartar from the teeth and roots. The area is numbed and the dentist will access the root surface to remove plaque, bacterial toxins, and tartar. Root planning then smooths the rough patches on the roots’ surfaces to prevent future bacteria and plaque accumulation below the gumline, enabling gums to properly heal and reattach to the tooth.

Diagnosis and Treatment
If your dentist diagnoses you with gingivitis, you will be required to schedule a deep cleaning appointment. You will qualify for scaling and root planning when:

  • Your gums begin pulling away from your teeth
  • You have tartar that has spread to the roots of your teeth
  • Your gums have shown signs of persistent inflammation

During this visit, your dentist will first administer local anesthesia to help with any discomfort. Next, your dentist will scrape the plaque from your teeth and use a scaling tool to smooth the roots of your teeth. This will help your gums to reattach to your teeth.

If you have advanced periodontal disease, your gum tissue may not respond to non-surgical treatments. In extreme cases, not even good oral hygiene and maintenance is enough. In such situations, and after all non-surgical options have been considered, Dr. Cristian Dunker may take a surgical approach to address the issue.

The goal of Dr. Cristian is to resolve patients’ periodontal issues through non-surgical regenerative therapies, to avoid the need for additional treatment or surgery down the line. At ArtSmiles, we aim to heal patients through thorough and individualised care, so patients can maintain optimal oral health through at home care and routine visits to their dentist.

If you have one or multiple missing teeth it can lead to bone loss in the jawbone. Without stimulation from your teeth and their roots, your jawbone will deteriorate. As time progresses and the bone continues to deteriorate, the bone mass becomes insufficient for the placement of dental implants.

Bone grafting is the process of restoring the bone in the jaw that has been lost due periodontal disease. If the disease left untreated, the bacteria in the plaque buildup will spread beyond the gum line and cause the supporting bone to deteriorate, potentially causing teeth to fall out completely.

If you are missing teeth and are in need of dental implants, a key factor in the dental implant procedure is having enough bone in the jaw to support implants. Patients who lack the bone density needed to sustain single or multiple implants may be in need of a bone graft, composed of small fragments of your own bone, synthetic material, or donated material.

Dr. Cristian Dunker is highly trained in treating periodontal disease and the oral health issues that arise as a result. When patients experience extreme forms of periodontitis, Dr. Cristian will determine which treatment plan is right for you.

There are several types of dental bone grafts, the most common including:

Autogenous Bone Graft: Autografts remove bone from the patient’s own mouth
Allograft: Takes bone harvested from human donor tissue
Xenograft: Bone graft from a donor of a different species
Alloplastic Graft: Utilizes a man-made, synthetic material that is created in a lab

Socket preservation is the process of securing a bone graft into the socket of an extracted tooth, to restore a healthy and strong jaw structure, and reduce further bone loss after tooth extraction.

This procedure must be done at the time of the extraction, as it is a crucial step in maintaining the shape of the socket and prevent it from collapsing inwards after the tooth is taken out and there is no longer something holding the socket in place.

The purpose of this procedure is to preserve the existing bone and prevent further bone loss after extractions. If this procedure is not done at the time of extractions, patients will face more invasive and costly surgery to restore the damage and rebuild the lost bone down the line.

Dr. Cristian Dunker will ensure your socket is preserved at the time of extraction. If your extraction has already taken place, he will ensure the socket has been preserved before completing your treatment plan.

Crown lengthening is performed to create a healthy relationship between the gum and underlying bone, by working to expose the tooth covered by excessive gum tissue.

Sometimes teeth appear short when they are actually the proper lengths, but are covered with too much gum tissue. This can be corrected with a dental crown lengthening procedure. In this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue are reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. Crown lengthening may also be used to expose a part of the tooth that needs to be restored, or for gummy smile correction.

The procedure can be performed on any number of teeth, and results in a healthier and more beautiful smile for patients.

Crown lengthening is used for a number of reasons including:

Restoring Periodontal Health:

If a tooth is severely worn, decayed or fractured, crown lengthening is performed to gain access to the tooth beneath the gum line so your periodontist can restore the damaged tooth health and function.

Dental Crown Retention:

In cases where patients lack sufficient tooth structure but are in need of a restoration, like a crown or bridge, crown lengthening is performed to increase the space between the jawbone and dental crown. This process stops the new crown from damaging the surrounding gum tissue and bone once it’s secured.

Cosmetic Enhancement:

Crown lengthening is often performed to fix the appearance of a ‘gummy smile,’ where excessive gum tissue covers the natural tooth, creating the appearance of shorter teeth. Removing the excess gum tissue creates a healthier look, and a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

An oral cancer screening is a completely painless procedure, performed by Dr. Cristian Dunker at ArtSmiles. During the visual examination, we will check for abnormalities by evaluating the oral cavity and surrounding areas and tissues for unusual bumps.

Malignant types of cancer can spread to other places in the oral and maxillofacial regions, posing additional secondary threats.

During bi-annual check-ups, we will thoroughly check for changes and lesions within your oral cavity. This dedicated and comprehensive oral cancer screening should be performed at least once each year to catch any suspicious changes and ensure early detection at a stage where cancer is easier to treat.

Periodontal disease can cause severe damage to the teeth, gums, supporting bone and overall health. Through advanced technology offered at ArtSmiles, such damage can be restored through regenerative procedures to improve patients’ oral health. Periodontal therapy aims not only to stop the progression of periodontal disease, but also to regenerate the structures lost as a result.

When patients experience gum tissue damage and bone loss due to periodontal disease, Dr. Cristian Dunker may recommend a regenerative procedure to rejuvenate damaged bone and tissue. Conventional regenerative procedures are successful and reliable ways to clean damaged root surfaces and periodontal pockets, and restore bone structure and form in the mouth.

For example, in the case of any periodontitis, when the infection spreads beyond the gum line, gums can begin to separate from the bone, creating ‘pockets’ around the teeth, where bacteria can deeply penetrate and cause the gum tissue and supporting bone to deteriorate.

A dentist will perform an ‘osseous,’ or pocket reduction surgery, where they fold back the gum tissue to deeply clean the infected area. A bone graft in conjunction with membranes, like those containing platelet rich fibrin, can be inserted to the surgical site to reduce pocket depths, and repair the damage caused by periodontal disease. 

Osseous Surgery, also known as pocket depth reduction, is a procedure that removes gum tissue that has been affected by periodontal disease.

When the bacteria buildup in plaque continues to spread throughout the mouth and gums, the infection worsens, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth, creating ‘pockets’ between the teeth and gums. Over time, as the bacteria spreads, these pockets will deepen, causing further bone and tissue damage to occur. Eventually, teeth can loosen and potentially fall out, and the patient may require an extraction to remove affected teeth. Dr. Cristian Dunker can assess the severity of your gum tissue and bone damage to determine whether you will need a pocket reduction surgery.

We will recommend Osseous Surgery if the pockets are so deep they cannot be maintained by the patient’s own daily oral hygiene routine or with a cleaning completed by a dental professional. 

During the treatment, Dr. Cristian Dunker will fold back the damaged gum tissue to deeply clean the pocket and remove all bacteria. This process will help restore gum tissue and allow for our expert to securely reattach the gum to the teeth.

The result removes disease-causing bacteria, prevents disease progression and ultimately rejuvenates patients overall health by decreasing the chances of developing serious health issues caused by periodontal disease.

Want Discount On Services and Easy access to high-quality dental care?

Join ArtSmiles Club and receive quality dental care at a price you can easily afford. Get access to routine preventive care and emergency exams at no extra cost and additional services at a reduced cost (Up to 30% off).

Frequently asked questions

Periodontal gum disease is a disease in which the tissues of the gum are affected severely and in turn, the bones surrounding the gum are affected.  It is caused in the space between the gum and the root of the tooth called the pocket. The initial symptom of this kind of disease is the inflammation of the gum which is the primary thing our organs do when they are attacked by any kind of infection agent.

When found at early stages, it is easy to heal gum disease through periodontal gum treatments.

Most cases of periodontal disease develop because of bacterial plaque that builds up on teeth over time. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that stimulates an inflammatory response and causes the body to attack itself. If it is not removed, it hardens and causes tartar to develop on the teeth, which cannot be removed through brushing at home. The tissue and bone that supports the teeth is gradually destroyed by this process.

While plaque is the most common cause of periodontal disease, lifestyle or hereditary factors play a significant role in the health of your gums. Some patients may be at a higher risk for developing periodontal disease because of their habits. Some of the risk factors for these dental conditions include:

• Tobacco smoking or chewing
• Systemic diseases such as diabetes or leukaemia
• Medications such as steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, blood thinning medication, cancer therapy drugs and calcium channel blockers
• Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives
• Crooked teeth
• Worn bridges or fillings

Let your dentist know about your specific conditions and any medications that you take.  

You can reduce your risk of developing gum disease by practising proper oral hygiene. This includes thoroughly brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day and flossing daily.
The products you choose for your dental hygiene can also play a role in keeping teeth happy and healthy. Fluoride products can significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay, but should not be used by children under the age of six.
Seeing your dentist for a professional cleaning on a regular basis is also essential to maintaining dental health. Your dentist will also recommend other prevention techniques you can use to maintain your health and prevent gum disease. Eating a balanced diet and avoiding smoking can also help maintain dental and overall health.

Call our office now to begin the process of shaping a better, healthier future.

Periodontal disease is a progressive, painless infection. Delay can cause you further bone loss and more expenses. If your teeth are lost, dentures are never as effective as your own teeth.  However, Dr. Cristian Dunker will be sure you fully understand your periodontal treatment options so you can make the best decision for your oral health.

The most worrisome cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis or early stage gum disease. When plaque isn’t fully removed by flossing, brushing, and dental cleanings, it can infect the gums and cause gingivitis.

Once gingivitis develops, it’s important to seek a gum treatment as soon as possible. When caught early, gum disease can be reversed. If it advances, it can actually cause more serious health problems, tooth loss, and more.

Symptoms of gingivitis and more advanced gum disease include:
• Persistent bad breath
• Bleeding or tender gums
• Swollen, red gums
• Pain while chewing
• Loose or sensitive teeth
• Receding gums

A gum treatment provider may recommend a number of treatments with a goal of controlling the infection. Possible treatments can include scaling and root planing (SRP), pocket reduction, gum grafts, and bone grafts.

At ArtSmiles, we strive to make your dental appointment as pleasant as possible. We offer comprehensive solutions to help you manage your oral health and stop gum disease in its tracks. Contact our office today to schedule a dental consultation and find out the cause of your bleeding gums.

 Once a professional cleaning removes the cause of irritation and infection, mainly the presence of plaque, the symptoms of gum disease such as tenderness and swelling should go away in one to three weeks.

Good dental hygiene practices, including proper tooth brushing techniques after meals, flossing daily and mouthwash will prevent gingivitis from returning.

Treatment of systemic diseases such as diabetes will lower your risk of a recurrence as well.

Crown lengthening is a procedure where gum tissue and/or the bone surrounding a tooth is removed in order to expose more of the tooth’s crown (the visible portion of the tooth).

Crown lengthening can be recommended for several reasons:

1) for an aesthetically-pleasing smile

2) to expose more of the tooth in order for your dentist to place a crown

3) to expose an area of decay below the gum line in order to perform a filling. 

For most patients, there may be some discomfort for 2-3 days following their crown lengthening surgery, which can be managed with aspirin-free oral pain medication.

Our team will take the necessary steps to ensure you heal fully post procedure. Dr. Cristian Dunker will prescribe pain medication to manage the initial discomfort after the surgery. An antimicrobial mouth rinse will be provided to reduce chances of any post-op infection. You will be provided with necessary aids to take home to properly maintain the area and keep it clean.

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About Dr Cristian Dunker

Dr. Cristian Dunker is committed to providing each of his patients with the highest care and best dental treatment therapy. His goal is to help patients achieve a healthier smile and overall oral health through pain-free and gentle treatment. 

Ever focused on putting the patient first, Dr. Cristian Dunker provides each patient with affordable, individualized care and treatment. He is well trained in aesthetics, committed to maintaining and creating healthy and natural looking smiles, and always uses the best treatment options available. 

 

Schedule a Visit Today!

or call us on (07) 5588 3677