Gum disease – what is it?
Severe periodontitis is now recognised as being the sixth most prevalent disease of mankind. Periodontal disease affects the gums & bone supporting your teeth. Growing research also shows the harmful plaque bacteria involved in gum disease are significantly linked to general well-being & longevity.
Gum disease – early stages
It is caused by your body’s response to sticky plaque bacteria. The plaque bacteria release toxins, causing inflammation. Have you ever noticed bleeding when brushing? Early gum disease is painless; bleeding gums can be the first sign. This is called gingivitis, which means inflamed gums.
Gingivitis can be reversed & kept at bay with improved oral hygiene home care.
Gum disease – advanced stages
When your teeth, especially next to & just under the gum, are not kept clean enough, the gum disease progresses. The next stage is called periodontitis. This is where inflammation reduces the bone holding the tooth in place. Dental x-rays are used to check this bone level.
Smoking & diabetes can increase your risk of periodontitis. If you have very bad gum disease, you may have inherited it, or you may have a problem with your general health, which needs to be investigated.
Periodontitis is irreversible. Once you have periodontitis you will always have it. The disease can go through stages of activity, remission & stability.
With support from your Hygienist and Dentist and a robust cleaning regime your periodontal issues can be addressed, controlled and ultimately stabilised.
Gum disease – treatment
At your hygiene appointment your Hygienist Rachael or Christina will take measurements around each tooth, in conjunction with your dental x-rays, to monitor your gum disease progression. Careful treatment by your Hygienist can remove hard calculus (tartar) to keep your teeth smooth so it is easier for you to remove the sticky harmful plaque. Think of your hygienist treatments as a helping hand, relying on your hygienist visit alone will not stabilise your gum disease; which is why we are so passionate about working with you to achieve an excellent home care regime.
We work very closely with the British Society of Periodontology evidence based guidelines to plan your periodontal treatment. Your appointment lengths & recall intervals are based on how advanced your gum disease is & whether it is active or stabilised. Depending on the severity of bone loss you may be recommended to have a course of non-surgical periodontal treatment.
To read more about the treatment we provide for periodontitis, please click here.
The EFP MANIFESTO
Absolute Dental and all the team that work under it’s umbrella have been delighted to add support to the manifesto created by the European Federation of Periodontology on the vitally important subject of Periodontal and General Health. The EFP MANIFESTO is a call to action in terms of prevention, early detection and treatment of periodontitis. It is the first formal declaration in international dentistry to condense years of research into the links between periodontal disease and systemic illnesses into an acknowledgement of periodontitis as a major public health issue.
By signing this manifesto and committing to supporting it by ways of educating our patients we join a growing community of professionals and experts who want a fundamental shift in the perception of dental professionals’ responsibilities. We embrace the mission to bring benefits from periodontal care to the general health of individuals and society, a purpose based not on the wisdom of the crowd but on strong and consistent scientific analysis.
This EFP MANIFESTO calls upon all dental and health professionals to act in the prevention, early diagnosis, and effective treatment of periodontal disease in order to combat the devastating oral and general health effects for the individual and society.