Gum Diseases Ashford, Kent
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease affects the gums, bone and other supporting tissues of the teeth. Although most individuals suffer gum inflammation from time to time, around 10% of the population appear to suffer from the more severe forms of the disease which cause loss of supporting bone. This group appears to be at greatest risk of losing teeth through periodontal disease. It is caused by the bacteria which regularly collect on the teeth.
Why do some people suffer from this problem and not others?
Around 10% of the population is susceptible. Our knowledge is improving all the time of why this is, although 3 major factors are thought to be responsible. Family history, stress and smoking are all important risk factors. Stopping smoking is an important part of reducing the risk of developing the disease. Certain general diseases such as diabetes may also make an indivdual more susceptible.
How do I know if I have the disease?
The signs and symptoms of periodontal disease are extremely variable but may include gums that bleed on brushing together with signs of more advanced disease such as mobility or drifting of the teeth. However, it is possible to have the disease and not be aware of these signs. It is essential to attend a general dental practitioner regularly so that special assessment techniques, sometimes including x-rays, can be carried out as part of your routine dental examinations.
What should I do if I think I might have the disease?
Regular dental examinations by a general dental practitioner will ensure that a correct diagnosis is made. The dentist will then be able to advise you on any necessary treatment. This will often include instruction in specific oral hygiene methods to help you control the bacteria that collect on your teeth. There may also be a need to carry out some professional cleaning of your teeth. Most cases of periodontal disease can be successfully treated by your dentist using methods such as these. Occasionally, more complex treatments are required and your dentist will advise you accordingly.
What are the risk factors of periodontitis?
The most important known risk factor for periodontitis is cigarette smoking. This is thought to be due to a reduction in gingival blood flow, impaired white cell function, impaired wound healing and an increased production of inflammatory substances (cytokines) enhancing tissue breakdown. Many studies have shown that persistent smoking leads to greater tooth loss and reduced response to periodontal therapy. Poorly controlled diabetes increases the risk of periodontal diseases. Wound healing is adversely affected by diabetes, especially if poorly controlled and this can make treatment of diabetic patients more difficult. Assessment of diabetic control is important and communication with the patient’s doctor can be very useful. Periodontal treatment might improve diabetic control. Other known systemic risk factors include hormonal changes, age, stress, and leukaemias. Local risk factors include calculus, enamel pearls, root grooves and concavities, malpositioned teeth, overhanging and poorly contoured restorations, removable partial dentures, weak contact areas between the teeth resulting in chronic food packing and deep overbite with direct gingival trauma.
I need more information, where do I get this?
Consult your dentist at Sunnyside Dental: Call us on 01233 625513 , Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org