Periodontitis (Gum Disease)
What is Periodontics?
Gum disease affects the supporting structures of the teeth. Gingivitis and periodontitis are the most common types of gum disease and both are caused by the bacterial dental plaque that normally inhabits the mouth.
What is the difference between Gingivitis and Periodontitis?
Gingivitis, a common condition, is inflammation of the gum and can be resolved with good oral hygiene measures.
Periodontitis is the name given to gum disease in its more advanced form and affects 10-15% of the population.
It is a far more damaging inflammatory condition that destroys the supporting bone, eventually leading to tooth loss. Why 10-15% of us are susceptible to this more destructive condition is not fully understood.
Some of the major factors affecting periodontitis include smoking, specific strains of bacteria in the plaque, personal stress levels and family history. If left untreated, in addition to tooth loss, the disease can lead to an increased risk of other health problems such as strokes and heart attacks.
How is periodontitis treated?
Here at One The Gallery, we pride ourselves on our efficiency and gentle expertise when it comes to dealing with oral hygiene and periodontitis. One of the most effective treatments is a combination of plaque control (tooth brushing and interdental cleaning) and periodontal surgery to regenerate the attachment of the periodontal tissues around the affected teeth.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Periodontal Disease?
The signs and symptoms of both conditions vary from none at all to loose teeth and drifting teeth. If you suffer from one or more of the following symptoms, a periodontal examination and treatment with one of our team at One The Gallery is highly recommended:
- Red, bleeding or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Periodontal pockets (gaps left when the gums start to ‘pull away’ from the teeth)
- Bone loss in the jaw
- Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
- Peri-implantitis (inflammation of the hard and soft tissue surrounding dental implants)
- Persistent halitosis or an unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Teeth that feel loose
- Increase in the size of the gums
You should also have regular periodontal checks if you are a smoker, as smoking greatly increases the risk of periodontitis.
What is subgingival debridement?
Subgingival debridement involves a deep scaling treatment that cleans parts of the teeth that are impossible to reach with a toothbrush, below the gumline. It cleans out the periodontal pockets and removes tartar and plaque from the roots of the teeth. After subgingival debridement, the pockets will start to shrink, so that the gum sits closer to the tooth, helping to prevent further bone loss.
In order to be fully effective, subgingival debridement will probably need to be repeated on a regular basis and it is important that after the procedure, you are especially careful about cleaning your teeth above the gumline.