Gum disease treatment in Melbourne CBD

Patients are often referred to our Collins Street periodontists with severe or complicated gum disease. We specialise in providing exceptional professional care and ongoing support to ensure our patients achieve the highest level of success from our periodontal disease treatments.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a response by gum tissue to plaque building up around the necks of the teeth. If your cleaning (brushing and flossing) technique is incorrect, plaque will build up at the delicate junction where the teeth come through the gums. This irritates the gums and causes them to inflame (gingivitis). You may notice they bleed when you brush your teeth; they may appear redder than pink, healthy gums. In some cases they also swell. Gingivitis is a reversible condition and effective cleaning will lead to health in a couple of weeks. Where the plaque has hardened into calculus (tartar), this has to be removed by a dentist or hygienist to allow proper cleaning.

What is periodontal disease or gum disease?

Periodontal disease is a disease of the gum tissue and underlying bone. Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis is associated with irreversible loss of the underlying bone holding the teeth in. Gum pockets usually open up between the tooth and gum and act as reservoirs for bacteria unless treated. The rate of bone loss varies from individual to individual, but if untreated can lead to tooth loss. Up to 80 per cent of the population will probably get some periodontal disease, and 15-20 per cent of people will lose a significant number of teeth if they do not receive treatment. Like gingivitis, periodontitis is usually painless, and by the time people become aware of problems – usually teeth becoming loose or drifting out of alignment – serious damage has been done. If caught early enough, most periodontitis treatment is successful.

Why do I have bleeding gums?

Bleeding gums are a sign of unhealthy gum tissues. It is extremely difficult to make healthy gums bleed. Bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis, usually as a result of ineffective tooth cleaning in the area that bleeds. Bleeding gums can also be a sign of periodontal disease, which affects the bone holding the teeth in. If this is not treated it can lead to early tooth loss.

Why do I have receding gums?

Receding gums are a sign that there has been some loss of the tooth-supporting tissue. It is not an inevitable consequence of ageing. Gum recession around one or two teeth can signal you are not cleaning properly. People who have thin oral tissues are prone to this sort of gum recession. They can increase their risk if they don’t clean well enough – leading to gingivitis – or if they brush too hard and scrub their gums away. Careful cleaning instructions from a dental professional are important. This sort of gum recession can often be treated by minor gum surgery if it is unsightly, progressive or can’t be kept clean.

More extensive gum recession can indicate underlying periodontal disease. Only a portion of people with periodontal disease will develop gum recession. It is more usual for people’s gums to look superficially fine while losing important attachment under the surface.

What is gum (periodontal) treatment?

The most common type of treatment for gum disease brings together two components:

  1. Oral hygiene (home care plaque control)
  2. Meticulous removal of plaque and calculus (tartar) from the gum pockets (debridement).

This gum disease treatment targets the causes and effects of gum disease – namely the bacteria initiating disease on the tooth surface next to the gum margin, and the bacteria progressing the disease within the gum pockets, causing progression of the disease.


In the deeper pockets you cannot reach, we will carefully clean the root surfaces of the teeth. Also called root planing or deep scaling, we usually use local anaesthetic for this procedure. For deeper pockets or those that do not respond to this treatment, gum surgery may be required to improve the health of your gums.

Home care – plaque control

Your susceptibility to gum disease means your gums tolerate very little plaque without inflammation (irritation) developing. Therefore, successful long-term control of your gum problems depends on a high level of daily oral hygiene. To help you achieve this, we will offer you advice and coaching to help you to remove plaque bacteria from the gum line.

If you would like to find out more about how our friendly team of periodontists based in Melbourne’s CBD can help you, please contact us.