Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth every single day. Calculus (commonly known as “tartar”) is plaque that has hardened or calcified over time.
Plaque and calculus can irritate gums and cause inflammation. This is the earliest stage of gum disease, called “gingivitis”. This commonly manifests as bleeding gums. Fortunately, gingivitis is reversible, so long as the plaque can be removed on a daily basis.
If plaque and calculus persists, inflammation and infection begins to affect the bone that holds the tooth in place. This disease process is called “periodontitis”.
Some of the symptoms of periodontitis are:
- swollen and bleeding gums
- gum shrinkage (tooth appears longer)
- tooth mobility, and eventually
- the tooth may be lost from instability.
Damage to the bone is not easily reversible. While damaged bone can not be repaired, the condition can be stabilised and further loss of the supporting bone prevented. This requires thorough professional cleaning of teeth, meticulous home care regime and regular maintenance plan. Our skilled dentists will design a home and professional care plan that is individualised to your dental needs.