Periodontitis – or gum disease – is a condition that weakens the supporting tissues that protect and hold the teeth firmly in place. It’s caused by an adverse interaction of plaque, found in everyone’s mouth, and the body’s defence system. While it presents few or no symptoms in the early stages, advanced conditions slowly lead to bone loss, gum recession, abscesses and, ultimately, the loss of otherwise sound teeth.
Evidence is also mounting of possible links between periodontal disease and serious systemic illnesses such as heart disease. Taking care of your teeth and gums today could protect you from having a stroke or heart attack.
The Good News is, with expert treatment and meticulous oral hygiene, excellent results can be achieved and maintained.
Also, exciting new research into the causes of gum disease, new treatments and novel techniques seek to reverse the effects of gum disease and establish whether there is a genetic susceptibility to periodontal diseases (around 10% of the population have an increased risk of having periodontitis of some type.) Dr Susan Heselton is our expert in this field and can be relied upon to provide the best possible results in gum treatments.
How is treatment carried out?
Initial screening: This will determine the extent of the disease and the prognosis of each tooth, and decide the treatment plan.
Oral hygiene: Patients are helped and encouraged to maintain the highest possible standard of oral hygiene to improve the outcome of the treatment.
Treatment: Plaque and calculus (scale) are removed from the diseased sites under local anaesthetic. Areas where attachment loss is more severe will often need more than one course of treatment and, in some cases, we may need to perform surgery in order to restore the supporting tissues to a healthy condition.
Maintenance: Three-monthly appointments with the hygienist are recommended to maintain oral health and reduce the risk of further damage and disease.
Re-contouring. By recontouring gum tissues (crown lengthening), satisfactory crowns and other restorations can be successfully placed on fractured or broken-down teeth.
Root removal. By removing untreatable roots, multi-rooted teeth that are otherwise in good condition have a greater chance of survival.
Dental hygiene is a very important part of keeping healthy!
Our hygienists Caroline Smith and Jacqui Read provide our patients with a full preventative dental care service. This includes a thorough oral hygiene instruction service for new patients to help them to correctly look after their teeth and gums, diet advice and, where necessary, thorough scaling and polishing as prescribed by one of our dentists at the practice as part of any treatment necessary to treat gum disease. They can also take impressions, apply temporary dressings and re-cement crowns.
Many patients who have had bad experiences in the past when treated by hygienists are at first reluctant to be referred to the hygienist. We are confident that patients will appreciate the care they receive from them and will wish to have the regular three or six-month cleaning which is now considered essential for ensuring full dental health.
If you would like to book cleaning treatments with Caroline or Jacqui please ask your dentist to refer you or contact reception to arrange an appointment.