General Dentistry

Teeth Cleaning


Gum disease is an infection of the gums and the bone that surround and support the teeth. Gum disease can affect patients of all ages and is one of the major factors contributing to bad breath, tooth pain and tooth loss. Gum disease is caused bacteria on teeth called dental plaque. Plaque forms constantly but can be controlled by regular brushing and flossing. The control of plaque is the key to maintaining gum health. Plaque can harden into calculus (or “tartar”) which is rough, hard and difficult to remove. You are unable to remove calculus from teeth, and the dentist needs to remove it with dental scalers.

There are two main forms of gum disease:


This is the earliest stage of gum disease and is characterised by bleeding gums. The gums can also be tender, painful, red and swollen. It is marked by a change in the gum tissue, but not in the bone. The gums will generally return to health with no bleeding after treatment, hence the condition is reversible.


This is a more advanced form of gum disease and is characterised by the loss of the supporting bone of the teeth. It can result in painful gum abscesses, tooth mobility and tooth loss if left untreated. This damage is irreversible and treatment is aimed at preventing the further loss of the supporting bone.  The extent of the treatment required depends on the severity of the bone loss.


Your Melbourne Dental Group dentist will review your gums for gum disease initially at your first comprehensive dental examination, and then routinely at your recall examinations. We will advise you if have gum disease, and recommend the best treatment for you.

Most patients require a regular scale and clean to maintain healthy gums. This involves removing  any calculus that has formed on the teeth with dental scalers, and the final polishing of the teeth to remove any stubborn external stains. For more advanced forms of gum disease, more complex cleaning of the teeth may be required.


To keep your smile as healthy as possible, it’s important to stick to a good at-home hygiene routine. At the Melbourne Dental Group we are always happy to give you advice on the best way to care for your teeth at home.

Tooth Brushing

Make sure you brush at least twice every day, both after breakfast and before bed. Using a small, soft bristle toothbrush or soft electric toothbrush, place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against the gums, and brush in gentle circles. Ensure you brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces and the chewing surfaces of your teeth.


Flossing should be done daily to ensure that plaque is removed from between the teeth. These are areas where the toothbrush cannot reach. Wind about 30cm of floss around the middle fingers of both hands, and hold the middle section of floss between your thumbs and forefinger. Using a gentle rubbing motion, guide the floss down between your teeth. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it around the outer edge of your tooth. Remove the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this process for every edge of every tooth.