The most common periodontal conditions are Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Both are caused and sustained by dental plaque. Dental plaque is formed from the existing bacteria that inhabit our mouths. Some people are more susceptible to periodontal disease than others.
The most common risk factors are:
- Positive family history of periodontal disease
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Certain types of bacteria present in the mouth
- Others (including pregnancy, puberty and certain medications)
This is an inflammation of the gums which results in red, swollen, and bleeding gums.
It affects more than 90% of our population. Gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene.
This occurs when the inflammation destroys the supporting structures of the tooth. It affects between 10-15% of our population. Without treatment and long-term maintenance, teeth can be lost.
The most common signs are:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when biting
Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in the adult population. If you have any of these signs or symptoms you can ask your dentist to refer you to us, or alternatively we are happy to see you without a referral.
Treatment of Periodontitis:
Treatment of periodontitis is very successful in keeping teeth. However the success of treatment is largely dependant upon maintaining an excellent level of oral hygiene and long-term maintenance (Supportive Periodontal Therapy).
Your first appointment:
Your first appointment at Charminster House Dental Practice will be with our GDC registered Specialist in Periodontics. We will carry out a thorough examination of your teeth and gums. We will then explain the disease to you and give you all the options for the best possible treatment. We are always happy to answer any questions that you may have.
We will provide a report to your referring dentist with a copy of any radiographs (x-rays) that we have taken. We will work closely with your referring dentist and keep them updated of your progress.
An appointment will be made for you to see the Dental Health Educator and radiographer so that radiographs (x-rays) can be taken. This appointment will also encompass dental health advice and demonstration.
A series of three to four appointments with the hygienist for thorough cleaning and oral health advice will follow over a three to six week period and this will complete the initial therapy stage.
We will make a further review appointment with the periodontist two months following the completion of this initial therapy to see how you are progressing.
Further treatment may be required and this will be discussed with you at your review appointment. In more advanced cases periodontal surgery may be required to deal with deep-seated areas of inflammation and to recontour the gum and bone underneath. Surgical techniques to regain lost support may be utilised where indicated. Periodontal surgery may also be used to treat areas of gum recession by re-covering exposed root surfaces to improve aesthetics and/or reduce sensitivity in some individuals.
Supportive Periodontal Therapy (SPT):
Supportive Periodontal Therapy (SPT) begins when active treatment is complete. Studies show that patients who maintain a good level of home care and continue with regular SPT are less likely to lose teeth.
SPT with the hygienist is normally carried out on a three monthly basis. However, this interval can be longer or shorter depending on a variety of factors including smoking status and other risk factors.
The periodontist will advise you on the interval appropriate for you as well as reviewing you on an annual basis to see how you are progressing.
Can losing teeth through gum disease be stopped?
Yes. If the diagnosis is made early enough treatment can be commenced before the disease has progressed too far. With meticulous cleaning including home care, the condition can be stabilised. If you are at all worried it is best to consult with a Periodontist.