6 Common Gum Disease Questions (And Their Answers)

What’s the deal with bleeding gums? How can you stop it from happening? There are a lot of questions out there about bleeding gums, gingivitis, and what you can do about them.

To answer some of the most common questions about gum disease, we sat down with Fresh Dental’s own Dr Oleg Pushkarev. Dr Pushkarev has worked in periodontics and hygiene for years, and now practices as a dentist in our Urunga and Macksville locations.

Put simply, this guy knows gums.

Dr Oleg Pushkarev | Fresh Dental Care

1. What is gum disease – and why should I care about it?

Dr Pushkarev explains that gum disease is a condition where the gums and underlying tissues can become inflamed when bacteria accumulates around the teeth. This can cause the tissue to bleed or look red and irritated. If left untreated, this bacterial activity can go deeper into the bone itself.

He clarifies that there are two stages of gum disease: less advanced gum disease (gingivitis) and more advanced gum disease otherwise known as periodontal disease.

One good reason to care about your gums is that gingivitis may be reversed through proper oral hygiene. Dr Pushkarev explains that, if you’re dealing with gingivitis, “this stage hasn’t yet reached the bone.”

By contrast, periodontal disease typically requires more in-depth treatment. Without treatment, this stage of gum disease may lead to irreversible loss of bone resulting in losing a tooth or teeth. In Australia, advanced gum disease is one of the most common causes of tooth loss in adults.[1]

6 Gum Disease Questions | Fresh Dental Care

2. Is gum disease common?

“I would consider it quite common, although this depends on the stage,” he says, noting that he sees gingivitis in patients of all ages.

Later-stage gum disease and bone loss tend to be less prevalent – but this can change as we age. “I’d estimate that about a quarter of the population experiences this stage, but it’s more common for those over the age of 55.”

Dr Pushkarev’s estimates are consistent with research evidence: one study reported that about 23% of Australians experienced moderate to severe gum disease and that there was a strong correlation to age.[2]

3. Can gum disease be cured?

“Gingivitis is reversible. Sometimes this requires professional help; sometimes it can be achieved with an oral hygiene routine at home,” explains Dr Pushkarev.

While you can sometimes reverse gingivitis with an oral hygiene routine, you may still want to consult a dental professional about the right treatment for you. Even if the bacterial activity hasn’t reached an advanced stage yet, “some plaque isn’t removable with just floss.”

If the gum disease gets worse, the answer is more complicated.

“We can’t restore bone loss,” warns Dr Pushkarev. If the gum disease enters its more advanced stages, you’re at risk of losing gum tissue or bone that you can’t get back. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing your dentist and hygienist can do, though.

“The condition can be stabilised. We can stop further gum recession and bone loss.”

4. What should I do if my gums bleed whenever I floss?

“First, don’t panic” says Dr Pushkarev. “If flossing is not a regular routine, most likely areas between teeth will contain some mature plaque, causing inflammation. Any attempt to disturb the inflamed that area will cause bleeding and it can’t get better unless the plaque will be removed. Therefore continue flossing even if you bleed on the first attempts.”

He recommends following an oral hygiene routine (brushing twice a day, flossing once a day – preferably before bed) and watching for any changes in the bleeding: “Notice if they’re bleeding after about a week of proper hygiene and see your dentist to find out why.”

You may want to swap out your toothbrush for a softer one, too. Sometimes firmer bristles can irritate your gums and make them more likely to bleed.

If your gums are still bleeding after two weeks of daily flossing and brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush, you should consider scheduling an appointment at a dental clinic. Dental professionals are well-placed to help you understand the cause of the bleeding and can advise you on oral hygiene techniques. And, if the cause of bleeding does turn out to be gum disease, they’ll be able to determine the stage of the condition, use x-rays to check for bone loss and recommend a treatment plan.

5. What are the signs of gum disease?

As you might’ve guessed, bleeding gums are a common sign! Dr Pushkarev advises watching for any persistent bleeding when you brush or floss, blood on your toothbrush, and bleeding that takes time to settle.

“Teeth feeling ‘loose’ would be more extreme and can be a sign of more advanced gum disease,” he says. You should contact a dentist if you notice any looseness.

While it’s good to watch out for warning signs, only a dental professional can diagnose gum disease, determine the stage of the condition, and recommend a treatment plan to reverse or stabilise it (that’s one reason why routine hygiene appointments and check-ups are important).

6. What should I do if my gums seem to bleed spontaneously, even when I’m not in the middle of brushing or flossing?

“Spontaneous bleeding is concerning, but sometimes certain types of medications can affect this,” says Dr Pushkarev. “We normally judge gingivitis based on probing the gums and bleeding on contact, which can indicate inflammation.”

You should mention any bleeding to your dentist and you may wish to seek an opinion from your GP, too.

Got more questions?

Dr Pushkarev and his colleagues in Urunga, Coffs Harbour, Macksville and Grafton are happy to advise you. Get in touch with your nearest Fresh Dental Care clinic today.

References
[1] Chrisopoulos S, Ellershaw A, Harford JE. Oral health and dental care in Australia: key facts and figures 2015. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2016.
[2]  Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, University of Adelaide, South Australia. Periodontal disease in the Australian adult population. Australian Dental Journal. 2009: vol. 54(4): 390-393

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Meet Our Team of Tooth Defenders

Everyone likes to think they’re a superhero, and our team of dental professionals is no different!
Just call us the ‘Fresh Dental Care Tooth Defenders’!

Fresh Dental Care would like to introduce you to our Tooth Defender Squad. We have Dr. Sharon Marinucci, Dr. Benjamin Mansell, and Dr. Cathy Do…

We know you’re keen to meet all of our clinicians, for their full details and biographies visit them here.

Our Team of Teeth Defenders | Fresh Dental Care

Our Fresh Dental Care team of professional dental clinicians work across the four surgeries we have here on the Mid-North Coast – Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Urunga, and Macksville.
At any given time, we have 12-15 dentists helping Fresh Dental Care achieve optimal oral hygiene for the local communities in which we work. We also have 2-4 oral hygienists and 4 therapists ensuring the best oral health practices of our youngest patients, right through to our regular visitors. Our Tooth Defender Squad is led by our Practice Principal Dr. Sharon Marinucci.

Fresh Dental Care also have a specialist Orthodontist, a specialist Periodontist, a visiting Oral Surgeon, and two visiting Prosthetists!

A mega-squad of Tooth Defenders who are here to help you look after your dental needs – fighting cavities, protecting your teeth against decay, and being a force for good oral hygiene habits!

Contact our friendly team of Tooth Defenders today. 

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Knocked Out! What Do You Do if Your Tooth Gets Knocked Out?

What happens if your fear of having a tooth knocked out ever came true?

What would you do? Firstly, locate the tooth you have lost. Avoid touching the roots and tissue at the base of the tooth by holding it at the biting end. If you can, place it in a cup of milk, this is the most tooth friendly way to stop the thin tissue covering the roots from drying out.

Did you know Fresh Dental Care can help in the case of a dental emergency? Our dentists keep time spare in their daily schedules, in case of an emergency. Simply call our clinic and explain you have a dental emergency.

Our four dental clinics fit your busy lifestyle, that’s why we have extended hours, are open late nights, and Saturdays^.

Some quick tips for knocked-out teeth:

  • Gently place the tooth back in its socket (the right way around; and only if the tooth is clean). It will have the best chance if replaced within 5 minutes.
  • Place the tooth in cold milk – NEVER place your knocked-out tooth in water!
  • You can place the tooth on one side of your mouth (between your cheek and your teeth – but don’t swallow it!).
  • Get to the dentist straight away. You may need antibiotics or a tetanus shot from the doctor as well.

Knocked Out Tooth | Fresh Dental Care

To alleviate any associated pain, take paracetamol or ibuprofen (if you are able to and as instructed by the pharmacist). They work best if taken at the same time but be careful not to exceed the maximum recommended daily dosage, always seek instruction from your pharmacist.

Call any of our four Fresh Dental Care Clinics today, we’re located in Coffs Harbour, Macksville, Grafton, and Urunga.

^ Saturday appointments are only available at our Coffs Harbour dental clinic.

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The Wisdom of it All…Wisdom Teeth and Their Removal

Some wisdom teeth appear to have a twisted sense of humour and they grow sideways. Other wisdom teeth only partially emerge, and others may become trapped within the jawbone (obviously not all wisdom teeth are very wise!). This does not mean all wisdom teeth need to be removed. It’s just the problem ones that may need to be extracted!

In all seriousness, poorly positioned wisdom teeth can cause numerous problems. Frequent bacterial infections in the gums (over or around them) causes pain and swelling. Other wisdom teeth grow through too far; this results in trauma to the gums and sometimes severe cheek biting.  Wisdom teeth can be difficult to keep clean and are often susceptible to decay. Others can push against the roots of the 12 year old molar next door and may cause damage to the root of that tooth, possibly even kill it.Wisdom Teeth and Their Removal | Fresh Dental Care

If you’re experiencing pain from a wisdom tooth it should be looked at straight away, as infections can develop around the tooth quite fast and needs attention from a dental professional. Your dentist will be able to assess if your wisdom teeth need to be removed. At Fresh Dental Care we have dentists who can remove most wisdom teeth, however in some cases you may need to be referred to an Oral Surgeon.

So be wise, if you’re having wisdom teeth pain, don’t delay and call Fresh Dental Care today!

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Team Celebrations – 2017 Award Winning Practice

In 2017 Fresh Dental Care celebrated success with our teams – we entered all the local business awards and we’re proud to say we’ve achieved spectacular results!

Winner of Health & Wellbeing Award 2017 | Fresh Dental Care

We won the award for ‘Health and Wellbeing’ in the Grafton Clarence Valley Awards this year.  This achievement is one we’re incredibly proud of! Fresh Dental Care strives to consistently maintain the health and wellbeing of all its valued patients and team members. Our team of dental professionals and support staff are here to help with all your oral hygiene needs.

At the Sunnys Business Awards Fresh Dental Care were finalists in six categories, and at the Mid North Coast Regional Awards we were finalists in five categories. It was such an honour to be nominated in so many categories!

Finalists in Five Categories NSW Business Awards | Fresh Dental Care

Fresh Dental Care are proud to be your local source of knowledge for all things dental. The business accolades are a testament to our commitment to the local communities in Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Urunga and Macksville. However our favourite reward is seeing our patients walk away with a happy smile after visiting us! Contact our friendly front desk team at your local Fresh Dental Care clinic and book your next dental appointment today!

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Throwback Thursday News!

In 2016 Fresh Dental Care dreamt big! We entered all the local business awards and we’re proud to say we achieved spectacular results!

In the Grafton Clarence Valley Awards we were a finalist and won the Work Health and Safety Award, an achievement we are incredibly proud to have been awarded as Fresh Dental Care strive to consistently maintain the health and wellbeing of all their team members.


Awards Won by Fresh Dental Care

In the Northern Rivers Regional Awards we were a finalist winning the Under 35 Years Executive Category. We then went on to be a Finalist at the State Awards ceremony in Sydney for the Under 35 Years Executive Award, and whilst we didn’t win at the state level it was our honour to be there.


At the Sunnys Business Awards and the Mid North Coast Regional Awards, Fresh Dental Care were Finalists in three categories in each award ceremony. To be nominated in so many categories is a proud achievement and one we hope to replicate again this year!


Fresh Dental Care are proud to be your local source of knowledge for all things dental. The business accolades we received last year are a testament to our commitment to the local communities in Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Urunga and Macksville, our favourite award is seeing our patients walk away with a happy smile when visiting us! Contact our friendly front desk team at the Fresh Dental Care clinic nearest to you and book in with an award winning team.

 

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Old for New Toothbrush Exchange

How often do you replace your toothbrush? The team at Fresh Dental Care make sure they switch to a new toothbrush at least every 3 months.

We want our local community to have the best optimal oral health as well, that’s why every year Fresh Dental Care give almost 1,800 local school children a new toothbrush!

The Fresh Dental Care team visit two local schools in each of our four locations (Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Urunga, Macksville) to personally hand each child a new tooth brush, whilst there we also conduct tooth brushing technique demonstration and offer our favourite tips for flossing. Read about how the Tooth Fairy recruited us to help her.Old for New Toothbrush Exchange | Fresh Dental CareThis provides our local community with a unique service and benefits close to 1000 families every year, not to mention ensuring our Fresh Dental Care team are able to share their knowledge and passion for best oral health and hygiene techniques.

Would you like your school to get involved? Then call our friendly front desk team at any of our four Fresh Dental care clinics today.

Grafton: (02) 6643 2225

Coffs Harbour: (02) 6651 1350

Urunga: (02) 6655 5800

Macksville: (02) 6568 1335

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The Tooth Fairy has Recruited Our Help

Everyone’s favourite fairy; the Tooth Fairy has been super busy with all the preschools and primary schools located between Stuarts Point and Grafton, so she has recruited Fresh Dental Care to help her!

The ToothFairy from Fresh Dental CareFresh Dental Care visits local schools and preschools teaching our littlest community members about healthy foods, tooth brushing techniques, flossing tips and to talk about letting Mum and Dad, Aunty, Uncle, Nana, Grandad (or anyone really!) to help you brush your teeth.

This is a fun and interactive experience with our local Tooth Fairy Assistant and reflects positively when the children attend our dental clinic and helps give them more tools to take care of their oral health!

Here are some of our tips on How to Brush and How to Floss.

For an extra bit of fun, download our colouring in competition and hand to the friendly staff next time you visit the dentist.

Fresh Dental Care wants to make a difference in our community with these yearly visits by the Tooth Fairy Assistant we’re certainly noticing an improvement with our littlest patients and their commitment to their dental routine!

If your school would like a visit from the Tooth Fairy Assistant, call our friendly front desk team at any of our four Fresh Dental Care clinics today.

Grafton: (02) 6643 2225

Coffs Harbour: (02) 6651 1350

Urunga: (02) 6655 5800

Macksville: (02) 6568 1335

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Giving Life to your Empty Tooth Paste Tube!

Have you ever wondered what happens to your empty tooth paste tube? Or perhaps where your old tooth brush ends up?

Recycling Empty Tooth Paste Tubes | Fresh Dental CareWorry no more!

Fresh Dental Care are a part of the Oral Health Waste Recycling Program and a Mailing Bag Recycling Program with Terracycle.

We are a drop off point for floss containers, old tooth brushes, tooth paste tubes and outer packaging. We then send these items to Teracycle where they’re shredded and melted into hard plastic, to be made into other useable products.

Help Fresh Dental Care in our green efforts to decrease the local landfill waste, by dropping off all your unwanted oral health products today!

 

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Accreditation News

Fresh Dental Care proudly belongs to a new age of accredited dental practices, offering the highest in quality patient care and sustainable cost structures for all patients.

 

“Achieving accreditation demonstrates a commitment to the provision of excellent dental care and continuous quality improvement within the practice.”- Quality Innovation Performance

Accredited Dental Practice | Fresh Dental Care

What Is QIP Accreditation?

The accreditation of private dental practices’ is based on the integration of a set of National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards into everyday practice culture and patient safety. These standards harmonise regulatory requirements passed down by both Federal and State governments, with highlights being the demonstration of clear and evidence based patient benefits when visiting an accredited practice.

What This Means For You

When choosing an accredited practice a patient can expect a reduction in clinical and general risks, as well as the peace of mind in knowing that all staff are educated and engaged in the implementation of dental systems and improvement of dental processes within their practice.

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards for Dentist’s were adopted by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care in 2011. The attainment of these standards means a dental practice has proven to be of the highest calibre in delivering quality patient care within Australia.

We now proudly belong to a new age of accredited dental practices, meeting QIP quality standards of patient care for all patients.

What This Means For Us

We assure you we are committed to ongoing improvement of the policies and procedures that govern our dental practice, providing assurance to patients, staff, colleagues and peers that we are committed to quality, safety and excellence across all standards.

Accreditation is independent recognition that we have met the requirements based on a defined criteria and set of standards that all practices can be judged equally against. Accreditation provides assurance to our patients, staff and everyone associated with the Practice that quality and performance standards have been met and are being constantly evaluated and improved upon.

If you would like to find out more about the accreditation of our practice please call any one of our Fresh Dental Practices or click here to download the Australian Dental Association Accreditation Fact Sheet.

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