When Alison was around 25 years old, she was diagnosed with gum disease. Like many young people nowadays, she spent a few years travelling. During which time she didn’t visit a dentist.
While some people experience gum disease symptoms such as bleeding gums, swelling or tenderness—Alison didn’t have any of these signs.
“Ever since I was a child, I’d had a receding gum line. At the time, my dentist said it was due to genetics and that if I brushed well, the gums would come back. Of course, this isn’t the case at all. Receding gums do not grow back.
“However, it wasn’t until I returned home from travelling and went to see a hygienist in Canberra that I discovered I had gum disease and significant bone loss as a result.
“I suddenly felt very anxious. The fear of losing my teeth had a really big impact on my life— as it would for any person. But the fact I was so young made me feel worse.”
Alison had periodontal therapy. Also known as ‘deep cleaning’ this treatment removes the build-up of plaque and tartar from the surface and roots of the teeth.
“Following treatment, I continued to have deep cleaning and check-ups every six months. I became fastidious about cleaning my teeth morning and night.
“For a few years, everything was going fine with my oral health. My gums were stable, and I was no longer so anxious about losing my teeth. But then, at the age of 32, I moved to Brisbane.
“It was a year later that I found myself a new dentist. Unfortunately, during those 12 months without regular checks-up and professional cleans, the situation had dramatically declined.
“The pockets surrounding my teeth were deeper than ever before. My dentist explained that he wouldn’t be able to clean far enough under the gum line to resolve the issue. As such, he referred me to a periodontist.
“Having previously built a trusting relationship with my dentist and hygienist in Canberra, I called her instantly for her advice. She was shocked by the new gum pocket and bone loss measurements. They had never been that bad before.
“She agreed that I should see a periodontist and referred me to Dr Edward Ohlrich and the team at EO Perio.
“During my first appointment, Dr Ohlrich confirmed that I had lost more than 50% of the bone surrounding my front teeth. Magically, my teeth remained solid and in place. (And they’re still there today, for which I’m grateful.)
“I had lots of questions and concerns. Dr Ohlrich was caring and factual in his response, which I really appreciated. He explained each stage of the treatment process, so I knew what to expect.
“I went ahead with with periodontal therapy. There were four appointments (quarter of the mouth was treated at a time) scheduled over about two weeks.
“Dr Ohlrich made me feel very comfortable during every treatment, as it’s not the most pleasant experience. Yet, it was necessary to ensure I could keep my natural teeth and prevent further gum and bone loss.
“Since having tperiodontal therapy, I now have a check-up and clean every four months. Aneta, the hygienist, is caring and friendly. She makes me feel so comfortable. She is a beautiful person who always makes time for you. I enjoy chatting with her at every appointment.
“The treatment for gum disease is ongoing. Maintenance is the key to supporting your oral health and overall health, as a result. We’d all prefer not to have gum disease. But if you do receive a diagnosis, my advice is to brush and floss like there’s no tomorrow and ALWAYS go to your dental appointments.
“I’ll certainly continue with my check-ups. Dr Ohlrich and Aneta have made me feel that together we can manage my periodontal disease symptoms and keep my natural teeth for as long as possible.”
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