What is gum disease?

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is the inflammation and infection of the gums. Gum disease can occur where there is a build-up of plaque and tartar (calculus) on teeth. The best way to avoid gum disease is by establishing good oral hygiene patterns, cleaning and flossing your teeth daily.

The initial stage of gum disease is referred to as gingivitis (an inflammation of your gums). Gingivitis is reversible and can be treated by regularly removing the plaque and tartar from teeth. A regular scale and clean by your dentist and maintaining your own daily oral hygiene habits will prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar and help keep your gums healthy. If gingivitis is not treated and the inflammation and infection continues, it may progress to an advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis. This stage of gum disease can cause serious damage to teeth and gums and may also impact on the bone supporting your teeth. The gums may start to recede or pull away from your teeth forming pockets between the gum and teeth. These pockets become harder to clean and the disease continues. As the infection progresses, the surrounding bone is impacted and in severe cases, teeth may become loose and require removal.

You may not be aware that you have gum disease so regular dental check-ups are important. The earlier gum disease is identified and treated, the better the long term outcome. Treatment of gum disease will vary depending upon the stage of gum disease present, however the aim of treatment remains the same, to stop or slow down the progress of disease and to help you introduce daily maintenance procedures that help keep your gums healthy.

Your dentist will look for signs of gum disease during your routine dental check-ups. Signs may include bleeding gums, red and swollen gums, bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth, or teeth which have become loose. Should you notice any of these signs, it is important to visit the dentist to discuss any concerns.

What is Gum Disease?

Why wear a professionally custom-fitted mouthguard?

One of the most common causes of injuries to your mouth and teeth is sporting accidents. Each year many children and adults experience upsetting dental injuries that may potentially have been avoided by wearing a professionally fitted, customised mouthguard.

Sporting injuries can include damage to teeth, broken jaws and lacerations to your lips, gums or other supporting tissues. The wearing of a properly fitted, custom made mouthguard helps to minimise the effect of a knock to your mouth by helping to absorb and spread the impact, lightening the load to any one particular area. The mouthguard cushions the teeth and helps reduce the risk of teeth being knocked out, bony fractures or soft tissue injury.

To protect your mouth and teeth from accidental trauma during sport, a custom-fitted mouthguard should be worn not only when playing competitively, but also during training sessions. It is amazing how many injuries actually occur during training sessions. It is also important to ensure the custom made mouthguard you have is the most suitable for your sport. Sports where the risk of trauma or accidental impact is higher may require a more protective mouthguard.  Mouthguards for growing children will need regular review for fit, as baby teeth are lost and adult teeth erupt.

An injury to your mouth or teeth cannot only be very uncomfortable, but may result in the need for more expensive dental treatment. You may also need to take time off work/school to recover or undergo treatment. A custom-made mouthguard in this regard may protect more than your teeth.

To find out more about professionally custom-fitted mouthguards contact your nearest nib Dental Care Centre.

Why wear a professionally custom-fitted mouthguard?

Why do over 125,000 patients choose nib Dental?

Over 125,000 patients have chosen nib Dental Care for their dental needs during the past year, that’s a great recommendation in anyone’s eyes. We must be doing something right!

Do you want to see the same dentist every time, a dentist who provides you and your family with all the dental services you may need, not just cleans and check-ups. Then book an appointment today at an nib Dental Care Centre.

We have 7 great centres, located close to public transport and parking which are open 6 or 7 days with extended hours for your convenience. Click here to see where we are and when we are open.

You know when you book an appointment at nib Dental Care you can trust we will look after your health with stringent quality controls and the latest technology to ensure you are receiving only the highest standard of dental care.

You will have access to a range of specialised services including: orthodontics, dental implants and services to assist in dealing with gum disease and other oral health issues. You can also access cosmetic services like teeth whitening, dental veneers and dental crowns at nib Dental Care Centres, we’re here to help keep your smile in shape.

The dentists at nib Dental Care Centres care for your kids and want them to have a positive experience when visiting the dentist, that’s why we encourage you to start bringing the kids with you for a visit before they start school. Initially they will just sit in the dental chair and get a feel for the surroundings so they feel relaxed and confident when it comes time for their check-ups and dental treatment.

You can visit nib Dental Care Centres regardless of whether you’re with nib or not. We are happy to see everyone!

If you are an nib customer with Extras cover you get additional benefits at nib Dental Care Centres like 100% back on dental check-ups and ‘up to $50 off’ your first visit, these benefits just add to the whole dental experience you receive at nib Dental Care Centres.

Manual Toothbrush –v- Electric Toothbrush

The main reason we brush our teeth is to remove plaque that adheres to the tooth surface, and it has been widely debated over the years whether manual or electric tooth brushing does this more effectively

There is no definitive answer to this question as both methods rely on the patient brushing correctly and the toothbrush reaching the tooth and gum surfaces needing to be cleaned. So the answer as to which one works best is different for everyone. If you are brushing correctly with a manual toothbrush you can generally achieve the same results as if you were to brush correctly using an electric toothbrush.

It may be easier for patients with less dexterity to use an electric toothbrush as the electric toothbrush can provide the vibration (jiggling action) required to remove plaque from the tooth surface. However the toothbrush must still reach the surfaces that require cleaning. Young children, people with arthritis or those with a disability, which affects their manual dexterity, may achieve better results using an electric toothbrush.

Chat with your dentist at your next dental appointment if you want to ask which toothbrush might be best for you.

Dental Care for Kids


What can I do to improve my smile?

Many people would like to make changes to their smiles but don’t know where to start. The first step is to visit a dentist at one of our nib Dental Care Centres. Here you will be able to discuss your ideas or concerns with your dentist who can then provide you with a range of treatment options that will work towards enhancing your smile.

There are many options, depending upon your needs, our friendly dentists may discuss with you:

Porcelain Veneers

If you are unhappy with your smile, one way to transform your look is with Porcelain Veneers. These small, custom-made, porcelain facings are attached to the front surface of your tooth/teeth to provide a brighter smile with a more uniform look.

Porcelain Veneers can be used to cover stained, chipped, decayed or slightly crooked teeth providing a fresher look and hiding signs of normal wear and tear. They can also help to fill any spaces between teeth or alter the shape of your teeth to enhance the appearance of your smile. In most circumstances Porcelain Veneers require 2 to 3 visits to fit, your dentist only removes a small amount of your natural tooth structure when preparing the tooth for Porcelain Veneers.

As veneers are only applied to the front of the teeth, care needs to be taken to maximise the time your veneers will last. Your dentist will provide further information on how to care for your veneers at the time of your consultation.

Another veneer option is Composite Veneers. Composite Veneers are an alternative to Porcelain Veneers and are created in the chair by the direct application of tooth coloured filling material to the front of your teeth, they can usually be completed within one appointment. Composite Veneers require very little preparation to the natural tooth, similar to Porcelain Veneers care needs to be taken to maximise the time your veneers will last.

Crowns and Veneers