Gum Disease Treatment
Periodontal treatment is the treatment of gum disease which is carried out by a Periodontist.
Gum Disease (Periodontional disease)
Why your gum health is important?
For a significant number of patients, additional gum treatment is required to ensure adequate gum health. Your gums are complex structures which support the teeth and allow them to function properly. Gum disease (“periodontal” disease) occurs where cleaning has not been effective and affects some people more than others. Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults and as well as causing bleeding gums, bad breath and lose teeth, it can also affect other parts of the body. The inflammation that arises from the bacteria that cause gum disease and poor oral health can also affect our general health, in some cases leading to serious degenerative diseases. Over the years, people with periodontal disease have been found to be at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, pregnancy complications and dementia. Recent research has indicated that successfully treating periodontitis reduces the severity of diabetes and vice versa.
There are 2 types of Periodontal Disease:
- Gingivitis (gum inflammation alone) – resolves with effective cleaning at the tooth/gum junction
- Periodontitis (gum inflammation with bone loss around tooth roots) – will improve with treatment over time. You might also pass on your genetic susceptibility to your children.
Features of Periodontal Disease:
- Bleeding gums (remember healthy gums do not bleed)
- Receding gums
- Black gaps appearing in between the teeth
- Mobile (loose) teeth
- Drifting teeth (spaces might start to appear in between the teeth
The Cause of Periodontal Disease is a build-up of bacteria (plaque) at the tooth-gum junction. The following factors can increase the severity and extent of your gum disease:
- Genetic susceptibility (a family history of gum disease)
- Poorly controlled diabetes mellitus
- Dental factors, such as a poor denture
- Lack of healthy diet
Preventing Periodontal Disease:
Brush and floss. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. If you have bridges, implants or wide spaces between your teeth you may want to use interdental brushes or a water flosser to clear trapped food.
Don't smoke. People who smoke are between three and six times as likely as non-smokers to have periodontal disease.
Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in vegetables and vegetable oils, fruits, nuts, and fatty fish not only provides all the essential nutrients but helps suppress inflammation and can mean a reduced risk of periodontal disease.
What is involved in periodontal treatment at Blackhills Clinic?
A series of appointments looking in detail at your gum health with a discussion of your individual oral health requirements. There will be targeted cleaning under the gums, sometimes with surgery for specific sites.
Who will treat my periodontal disease?
Our specialist periodontist will co-ordinate this treatment programme working with the Blackhills hygienist, or your own dentist/hygienist.
How long will it take?
Periodontal disease takes many years to develop and therefore cannot be treated quickly. There will be a series of appointments over several months to effectively manage the complexities of the disease.
Will it work?
Periodontal disease might be very common but is quite complex and people differ in their response to treatment, depending on how advanced the condition and how much effort they put into treatment. All patients will benefit and will have more chance of keeping their teeth if they follow a course of therapy, but some will still require additional treatment. Unfortunately, once you have had the more advanced form of periodontal disease, you will always be more susceptible to getting it again, even after you have received treatment.
Are there any problems after?
Most patients experience some gum recession after treatment. This can lead to increased dental sensitivity as well as gaps between the teeth which must be kept clean of trapped food to prevent tooth decay and/or progression of the gum disease.
How much will it cost?
It is possible to have individual periodontal appointments, but our experience has shown that a course of 6 appointments over 6-9 months is usually sufficient to make a significant improvement. This course of treatment is better value than paying for individual visits but does not involve any fees for gum surgery where this is required.
The cost of a course of treatment will be discussed with you.
What can I do to help?
The biggest contribution any patient can make to the success of their periodontal treatment is to fully accept personal responsibility of the need for improved home care and effective cleaning, as well as to follow the advice and instructions given and attend all appointments with a positive attitude.