Periodontal Gum Disease
Have you been diagnosed with periodontal disease?
So what is gum disease?
Quite simply gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is inflammation of the gums which can cause the bone around the teeth to dissolve away. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
HOWEVER… IF DETECTED EARLY, GUM DISEASE CAN BE SUCCESSFULLY TREATED AND CONTROLLED.
There are two main types of periodontal disease:
With gingivitis only the gums are affected and not the underlying bone which supports the teeth. Gums become dark red, swollen and bleed when you brush or eat. Bad breath and taste may also occur. This is caused by a sticky layer of bacteria called plaque growing on the teeth (the ‘fury’ feeling) . Plaque bacteria release poisons that cause gum disease.
Gingivitis needs to be treated early because it can progress to a more serious gum disease called periodontitis.
With some people poisons from the plaque gradually destroy the tooth’s support system and loosen their teeth. Deepening pockets filled with infection form around the teeth. Plaque calcifies into a hard rough deposit called tartar (or calculus).
As the pockets deepen more supporting bone is lost. The progression of disease is often painless and unless treated the affected teeth may require extraction.Richard has unfortunately seen many patients over the years who when finally attending the dentist after many years because of recent pain have had to be told their gum disease is too advanced for treatment and removal of their teeth is the only option available.
How is gum disease treated?
Your dentist or dental hygienist will scale and smooth the teeth removing plaque and tartar from the pockets and around the roots. Gums shrink and heal without those irritants present.This removal is often intricate and time-consuming which adds to the cost. Richard uses the analogy of barnacles on the bottom of a boat in that the material built up on the teeth can become very hard and resistant to removal.
The patient then has an important part to play by learning how to thoroughly clean their teeth each day.
More advanced conditions may require treatment by a Periodontal Specialist and you will have the option if necessary.
Good oral Hygiene at home
The most important thing you can learn from your dental professional is how to correctly brush and clean between your teeth. Few of us do this properly without being shown the most effective techniques and products available. The cost of not learning how to effectively remove plaque could be the loss or disfigurement of your smile.
Many people now enjoy a healthy mouth, attractive smile, sweet breath and teeth that will last a lifetime because their periodontal disease was detected and treated in time!
Treatment for gum disease can be time consuming and as a consequence appointment times are often up to an hour long.
Therefore we ask that you give at least 24 hours notice of cancellations where possible. It is practice policy not to rebook patients who fail to attend more than two appointments without notice.