PREVENTING AND TREATING GUM, PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Most dental issues can be managed by your general dentist. However, with gum disease being one of the leading causes of tooth loss in the UK, the demand for specialist periodontists, who can help patients to manage and treat this disease, is increasing.
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth. They can irritate the gums and degrade the bone around your teeth over time, causing the gums to bleed and with long-term bone loss they eventually become loose. It is often referred to as the silent disease because it is painless and therefore a lot of patients don’t pay attention to it or even realise they have it.
Signs you should see a Periodontist
Gum disease is often referred to as a ‘silent’ disease because the warning signs are not always accompanied by pain. We would advise anyone with the following symptoms to book an appointment with us to discuss our periodontal services in more detail.
Teeth, bite or dental work:
- Changes in the way that your teeth fit together when you bite down
- Teeth becoming loose or separating
- Fillings becoming flawed and defective
- Existing bridge work or partial dentures no longer fitting correctly
- Gums that bleed whilst brushing, flossing or biting into harder foods
- Red, swollen gums, repeated puffiness or sensitivity
- A receding gum line that is ‘pulling away’ from the teeth
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Persistent bad breath despite brushing regularly
- Sores or pus between teeth
- Persistent sores or irritations in the mouth that do not improve after 2 weeks
Who is most at risk from gum disease?
Gum disease or periodontal disease can affect anyone, but some individuals are more susceptible to developing it than others.
The following may cause you to be more at risk for gum disease:
- Smoking and alcohol abuse
- Systematic diseases
In addition to these the following prescription drugs could also increase the risk of gum disease:
- Cancer therapy drugs
- Oral contraceptives (the pill)
- Steroids such as corticosteroids and prednisone
- Drugs for the treatment of epilepsy
- Calcium channel blockers used to treat heart disease
Using the right brushing and flossing techniques can make a huge difference when it comes to preventing and addressing gum disease, since this condition begins with the build-up of tartar and calculus. Speak to your dentist for further advice on what you can do at home to help prevent it.
What are the treatment options?
The type of treatment recommended by your Periodontist will depend on the stage of gum disease and the extent of deterioration in the gums, teeth and surrounding areas of bone and tissue.
Following x-rays and a thorough periodontal examination your treatment options will be discussed in detail with you and you will have the chance to ask any questions you may have.
Some of the treatment options may include;
Scaling and root planing are well-known non-surgical treatments that involve the careful removal of plaque and tartar from the tooth roots. The harmful bacteria from deep beneath the gums are removed, helping to prevent the plaque from accumulating there again in the future.
There may be a need in some cases for your Periodontist to recommend that to eliminate bone infections or regenerate lost bone surgery may be required. Some of these include:
Pocket Reduction – Following the application of a local anaesthetic the gum tissue is folded back and any irregular surfaces of damaged bone are smoothed to expose hidden harmful bacteria which are then removed.
Bone Regeneration – After a local anaesthetic is applied, the gum tissue is folded back and the deeper tissue is exposed for the disease-causing bacteria to be removed. At this point bone grafts, membranes or tissue-stimulating proteins are often used to aid the body in regenerating tissue and bone and help reverse some of the damage caused by the disease.
How much does periodontal treatment cost?
As with most dental treatments, the cost will depend on the individual patient’s needs and treatment plan as no two patients are the same. At The Essex Smile Centre, our Periodontists are dedicated to providing the very best treatment to those suffering from gum and periodontal disease. We can help treat the problems associated with gum disease such as gum inflammation and infections and address the build-up of plaque and tartar to help prevent future problems.
When left untreated, gum disease will inevitably result in the loss of teeth, which is something we are always keen to prevent. If you have any concerns in this area and would like to book an appointment with our expert Periodontists in Essex, then please contact The Essex Smile Centre today.
“Last year following many consolations with Mr Declan Keane, I plucked up the courage to have twenty teeth veneered. At all times during this lengthy process it was carefully explained to me in a reassuring professional manner what to expect – THE RESULTS ARE STAGGERING and I am so pleased I had it done.” – Sylvia