What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease (“gum disease”) affects the gums, bone and other supporting tissues of the teeth. Although most individuals suffer gum inflammation from time to time, around 10% of the population appear to suffer from the more severe forms of the disease which cause loss of supporting bone. This group appears to be at greatest risk of losing teeth through periodontal disease. It is caused by the bacteria which regularly collect on the teeth.
How do I know if I have the disease?
The signs and symptoms of periodontal disease are extremely variable but may include gums that bleed on brushing, bad breath together with signs of more advanced disease such as mobility or drifting of the teeth. As the disease is often painless it can often go undetected until it is too late.
Regular dental examination by your general dental practitioner (GDP) will ensure that gum disease is identified and treated. The dentist will then be able to advise you on any necessary treatment. This will often include instruction in specific oral hygiene methods to help you control the bacteria that collect on your teeth.
What treatment is required for Gum Disease?
That depends on your individual condition. At New Square Dental practice our hygienist and periodontist can provide a range of treatment appropriate for your needs.
Why should I see a Hygienist?
Periodontal disease is caused by a build up of plaque around the gum line and can present itself as inflammation and bleeding in the gums surrounding your teeth. A hygienist is specifically trained to remove this harmful plaque build up and professionally clean your teeth and gums. If your periodontal disease is in its early stages, preventive oral hygiene instruction along with scaling may be all that is necessary. Our hygienist in cooperation with your dentist can provide this treatment.
Why should I see a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. A periodontist works in cooperation with your general dentist when the disease has progressed to the point where specialist intervention is required. Treatment may include:
- Deep cleaning of the roots of the teeth
- Minor oral-surgical procedures to access and treat diseased tissues
- Placement of bone substitutes where bone has been lost
- Scheduled appointments with the hygienist to ensure oral health is maintained
If you are concerned that you may have a form of gum disease, please make an appointment with your dentist, who will be able to diagnose you and , if necessary, refer you to the relevant specialist.