The most common diseases of the oral cavity, that unfortunately go unnoticed by many patients are gum disease and periodontal disease. Regrettably when these conditions do not receive the proper care needed they become chronic and eventually can lead to teeth loss.
The following video shows the basic information that every patient needs to know regarding periodontal diseases and their therapy.
What is causing gum disease? How do I know if I have it? I was told I have gingivitis, what is it?
Gum disease, or gingivitis, is caused by certain bacteria of the dental plaque, the sticky and toxic film that adheres to the teeth if we do not brush them properly. This bacterial film causes inflammation on the gum that presents with redness, bleeding and swelling of the gum. Often it is accompanied by bad breath than can be quite severe. To make things even worse, bacterial plaque mixes with saliva and forms a hard layer on the tooth surface. This toxic adhesion is called tartar or calculus and it can build up rather quickly, for some people every few weeks. Tartar cannot be removed by the toothbrush and requires to be removed by a dental professional with a procedure called scale and polish.
How do I treat my gum disease? Can gum disease be cured? What is the cure for gum disease?
Fortunately gum disease can be cured, but only if it is treated at an early stage. That is why it is important to have frequent dental check ups and hygienist appointments. The following prescription would cure most forms of gum disease:
If only you follow promptly all the above advice and most of all keep it all regular, then early stage gum disease is 100% reversible and your gum can recover like you never had it.
The dentist said that I have periodontal disease, not gum disease. What is the difference? What is the cause behind my periodontal disease?
If gum disease is left untreated then it eventually becomes a chronic inflammatory condition that is more difficult to cure. Even worse is the fact that chronic inflammation of the gum releases toxins that destroy the underlying jaw-bone of the socket where in the tooth is normally held secure. When gum disease results in bone loss it is no longer called gum disease but periodontal disease or periodontitis. This is a far more serious problem as it threatens the long term stability of the teeth and may lead to periodontics.
For most patients bone loss is a slow procedure and may take decades for a tooth to become lose. However there are more aggressive forms of periodontal disease that can have a quick and detrimental effect. It is important to realize that there is no complete cure for periodontal disease. Bone loss is not reversible and the bone lost cannot come back again. Periodontal disease is not only caused by bacterial plaque. Ageing will be followed by a certain degree of bone loss that varies genetically between individuals. There are also systemic and genetic diseases and certain types of medication that may contribute to its severity. Finally smoking has been proved to be one of the worst causes of periodontal bone loss.
How can I treat or cure periodontal disease or periodontitis?
Periodontal disease or periodontitis is the same and it cannot be cured but it can be controlled. In any case or stage of this destructive disease, it is imperative that the correct hygienic approach is followed to eliminate the destructive work of the bacteria against the gum and bone.
Once periodontitis settles around the teeth, it absorbs the bone around the root and forms a pocket space instead. That space offers a nest for bacteria to accumulate and build tartar around the root of the teeth forming a vicious cycle that leads to increasingly more bone loss. That is why the typical scale and polish is not enough any more and a more drastic variation of this procedure is required.
This is called deep root scale, or root planning or a deep clean. Also it is important to understand that once pockets have formed, it is no longer enough to visit the hygienist 6 monthly. Pockets fill in with bacteria very easy and their depth increases rapidly if they are not deeply cleaned by a dental professional every 3 or 4 months at the latest. For best results we recommend a 3 monthly schedule of 4 visits per year.
In our dental practice in Market Rasen we have dental plans that are tailored to your periodontal needs, so you can have the hygienist visit included 3, 4 or 6 monthly according to your individual periodontal needs.
What is a periodontal specialist? Do I need to see a periodontal specialist?
A Periodontal Specialist or Periodontologist, is a dentist who has had additional training and specialized in the treatment of gum and periodontal problems. A Periodontologist would offer additional treatments that are not done usually by a general dentist. These include bone grafting procedures and other surgical and antimicrobial treatments on the gum. Most Periodontal specialists would also offer general care by a hygienist exactly as described above. At You Smile Dental Care we are happy to refer you to any Periodontologist of your preference or after our recommendation. Please keep in mind that these specialists are more advanced in treating periodontal disease but they also cannot completely cure it as there is no complete cure available as of yet.