What is periodontal disease?
- In its simplest form, periodontal disease presents as a gingivitis or inflammation of the gums. The gums will appear reddish, swollen and may bleed during brushing or eating. Some people also suffer from halitosis or bad breath. Gingivitis is the result of the body’s response to bacteria that build up on teeth in the form of plaque and tartar.
- If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, which is when the inflammation spreads below the gums, along the roots of the teeth, into the underlying bone. Untreated periodontitis leads to gum recession, loose or wobbly teeth, problems with chewing and speaking and eventually, the loss of teeth.
- In addition to bacterial plaque and tartar in the mouth, other risk factors include smoking, poor diet and stress. However, periodontal disease does not only affect your mouth, it is also linked to diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, strokes, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Gum diseases can also affect the tissues around dental implants. These are known as peri-implant diseases. With poor oral hygiene, bacteria build on the implant and causes inflammation of the gums that surround the implant. This is called peri-implant mucositis and if not treated, can progress to peri-implantitis, which involves more inflammation and destruction of the bony foundation around the implant. The implant then becomes loose and may eventually need to be removed in a surgical procedure.
How can we help you?
Regardless of whether we are treating periodontal disease around teeth or peri-implant disease around implants, the treatment phases are as below:
- A comprehensive assessment of your gum and bone health including X-rays, photographs and microscopic assessment of the presence of disease-causing bacteria.
- This is accompanied with a plaque control phase to reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth and thereby reduce the level of inflammation.
- Non-surgical periodontal therapy is the next phase where all bacterial deposits (plaque and tartar) are removed from accessible areas of the teeth and their roots. For patients with advanced periodontitis, several appointments for teeth cleaning may be necessary.
- Antibiotic therapy – in some severe cases, antibiotics are also prescribed in conjunction with non-surgical treatment.
- Regenerative periodontal therapy is also used to treat residual deep pockets. This involves using either proteins or bone-replacement grafts and membranes to reconstruct bone that has been lost because of periodontitis.
- Aftercare – supportive periodontal therapy. The long-term success of periodontal treatment depends on two factors: the patient’s own oral hygiene and regular care at our practice. Once the disease is brought under control, we will review the condition of your gums at regular intervals to ensure that the disease is well controlled. The frequency of your follow-up appointments will depend on your risk profile.
If you have any of the signs and symptoms discussed above, please feel free to contact us for a consultation.
Periodontal disease FAQ
What are the stages of periodontal disease?
Is periodontal disease reversible?
What happens if periodontal disease is left untreated?
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