What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is one of the leading causes of tooth loss for adults in the UK. There are two forms of gum disease, the milder version being gingivitis and the more serious form being periodontitis.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by bacterial plaque, with other factors including poor nutrition, smoking, tooth grinding, diabetes, stress and some medications increasing the likelihood of developing the condition.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Most people will experience gingivitis at some stage of life, and the symptoms can be hard to spot. Things to look out for include:
- Gums that bleed during brushing or when eating certain foods (blood on the toothbrush is a common first sign)
- Swollen gums that may or may not be painful
- Bad breath
What should I do if I think I have gum disease?
If you notice any of these symptoms you should book an appointment with your dentist immediately. The early stages of gum disease can be treated with a visit to the hygienist and an improved home oral health regime, which your dentist or hygienist can advise you about.
Untreated, gingivitis can progress to the more serious periodontitis. According to the Adult Health Survey 2009, up to 45% of the UK public live with this chronic condition.
Some people are more susceptible to the bacteria that cause gum disease, increasing their chances of developing periodontitis and making early intervention even more important.
Periodontitis is characterised by:
- Destruction of surrounding bone
- Teeth becoming loose or wobbly
- Tooth loss
How is gum disease treated?
We treat periodontitis with a mixture of non-surgical and surgical treatments, tailored to each individual patient’s needs. A common treatment plan looks like:
Appointment 1: In depth assessment of the oral tissues (With or without new X-rays) and Targeted oral-hygiene education to get the maximum benefit out of your treatment.
Appointment 2: Deep Cleaning of the bacteria (that cause the condition) trapped under the gum in one or two appointments.
Appointment 3: Re-evaluation of the tissues to see how they have healed and see if more advanced therapies are needed to tailor, retain or restore the tissues.
The aim of our treatment is to get your gum tissues as stable as possible and giving you the tools to keep them stable. This allows for long term stability and the retention of more teeth.