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Gum Care / Hygienist Services

Gum Care / Hygienist Services

What is periodontal (gum) disease?

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease of the tissues which surround and support the teeth.comprehensive-gum-care-image

There are 2 main forms of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis is inflammation which ONLY affects the gum tissue surrounding the necks of the teeth. (not the ligament or bone).The gum tissue may appear swollen and red, and bleed easily during brushing or flossing. It is usually painless, and may be associated with bad breath.

If gingivitis remains untreated, it MAY progress to periodontitis in AT RISK individuals.

Periodontitis is inflammation which gradually destroys the ligament and the bone surrounding the teeth. When the ligament breaks down and the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, pockets develop around the teeth that deepen over time. As the disease progresses, more ligament and bone are destroyed. In advanced stages, teeth become loose or may fall out.

The main cause of periodontal diseases is bacterial plaque - a sticky, colourless film that constantly forms on your teeth. Over time, plaque that isn’t removed combines with calcium from the saliva and hardens to form tartar (calculus). Once tartar has formed it can only be removed by your dentist or hygienist by a procedure called SCALING.

Although plaque is the primary cause of periodontal disease, other factors may increase your risk:

  • Smoking. Smokers are 2-3 times more likely to develop periodontitis.
  • Hormonal changes, e.g. during pregnancy, puberty and menopause.
  • Family history of periodontal disease
  • Stress.
  • Medications such as oral contraceptives, antidepressants and certain heart medicine.
  • Improper nutrition.
  • Habits such as poor oral hygiene, drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Diseases that interfere with the body’s immune system, e.g. people with poor diabetes control are 2 times as likely to develop periodontitis.

How do you know if you have periodontal disease? An examination with the dentist or hygienist is the most reliable way to find out if you have periodontal disease however you can look for signs of the disease yourself:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums that bleed when you brush or floss.
  • Gums that recede or pull away from the tooth, exposing the roots.
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures.
  • Teeth that have moved, creating spaces.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Persistent bad breath.

There are a number of established links between gum disease and general health….. Chronic gum disease has been established as being a contributory factor in causing thickened arteries which contributes to heart disease. (increased risk of heart attack and stroke) Pregnant women with periodontitis have an increased risk of developing pre-eclampsia, a hypertensive disorder that can lead to premature birth and low birth weight babies. Periodontitis itself can worsen diabetes - Some studies indicate that treating periodontitis can reduce the need for insulin and improve blood sugar control in some people with diabetes. Treating periodontal disease Gingivitis can be easily treated. This usually involves scaling (to remove any tartar deposits) and polishing (to remove plaque deposits), and advice regarding home care – improving brushing and flossing techniques for more effective plaque removal. Treatment of periodontitis depends on the severity of the periodontal condition. In mild cases it generally involves removal of calculus and plaque deposits by scaling and polishing, and home care advice and support. In moderate to severe cases referral to a periodontist** may be necessary to discuss a wider range of treatment options. **specialist in periodontal diseases

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy

At Ranfurly Dental Care we believe that prevention is better than cure. That’s why we offer the services of a qualified Dental Hygienist as part of your dental care team.

Our hygienist, Leanne Skinner, is expert at removing the plaque and tartar that build up on your teeth. She uses a selection of specialised instruments to provide individualised care for your teeth and gums.

Everyone is unique, and your teeth will build up tartar at a rate that may be different from others in your family. Leanne will advise you on the best way to minimise the damage and schedule appointments to meet your needs.

Here are some of the services Leanne provides:

  • Undertake an oral health assessment that includes your history, oral cancer screening and an evaluation of your teeth, gums and supporting structures of the teeth.
  • Take and interpret x-rays.
  • Remove tartar, plaque and deposits from all tooth surfaces by scaling and polishing.
  • Offer advice regarding prevention of oral disease, including oral cancer, gum disease and dental decay.
  • Give instruction on plaque removal techniques, including brushing, flossing and use of interdental cleaning aids.
  • Apply fluorides and sealants to decrease risk of decay.
  • Give dietary advice relating to oral disease.


If you would like us to contact you please fill in the form below and click the SUBMIT button.

Our contact information:

(09) 630 8965

(09) 631 5210

235 Manukau Road,
Epsom, Auckland 1023

Practice Hours:

Monday & Tuesday 8.00am - 6.00pm
Wednesday to Friday 8.00am - 5.00pm

Map and directions: