WHAT IS PERIODONTAL DISEASE?

What Is Periodontal Disease and How Can I Treat It?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. Many people do not realise they have it, and the impact it is having on the rest of their body.

A tell-tale symptom is inflammation of the gums. Any part of the body that has an infection should always be managed.

It is a progressive disease, which means if left untreated it will get worse. That could mean severe pain, and tooth and bone loss, but also an increased risk of other conditions elsewhere in the body. 

Periodontal disease is also known as a systemic condition, meaning it is linked to other parts of the body.  Hundreds of scientific papers have been published on a wide number of conditions linked to the presence of periodontal disease and other conditions.  Some of these diseases include, Diabetes, Dementia, Heart Disease, Infertility, and the list goes on.

If you are affected by any of these conditions, you can find support and more information by reaching out to Diabetes UK, Alzheimer’s Society and The British Heart Foundation.

Preventing periodontal problems in the first place is always the best approach, if teeth and gums are cared for most patients can have their teeth for life. Having a good technique when brushing and flossing at home is essential, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, always supported by your dental healthcare team. 

For some patients they may be genetically predisposed to periodontal disease which means their chances of it occurring are higher than those that don’t have it in their family. No matter how advanced the stage of periodontal disease is, it is never too late to seek help. 

10 signs of periodontal disease

Periodontal disease can be painless, but there are some tell-tale signs of periodontal disease to watch out for even in the early stages. For patients with severe periodontal disease, they may be suffering with many of the symptoms below.

  1. Bleeding gums, usually during or after brushing, and sometimes in between brushing.
  2. Blood may be left on your toothbrush.
  3. Bleeding could take place in the night, and you may even confuse it for a nosebleed.
  4. Swollen gums. They may appear engorged.
  5. Sore gums. That can feel delicate to the touch.
  6. Bright red, dusky red, or purplish gums.
  7. Blood in the skin after spitting during brushing and or flossing.
  8. A strange taste in the mouth.
  9. Bad odour coming from your mouth, teeth, and gums.
  10. A feeling that your teeth are gliding.

Healthy gums versus diseased gums

Here you can see healthy gums, they are pink in colour and the tooth is firmly in place. The other picture shows an advanced stage of periodontal disease. There is tartar on the tooth and bright red inflamed gums which is detached from the tooth.

healthy-gums-teeth-gums-and-teeth-with periodontal-disease-gum-disease-treated-with-laser-guided-gum-disease-thearpy-fulham-dental-clinic

4 stages of periodontal disease by Dr Alberto Li Greci

Periodontal disease is a condition that gets worse over time if not managed. It is categorised in stages and there are four in total. 

There are four stages of periodontal disease. The first stage is gingivitis, it then progresses to mild, moderate and severe periodontal disease. Here Dr Li Greci explains what happens at each stage. Like most medical conditions the sooner you act the better. At Fulham Dental Clinic we treat gum disease using Laser Guided Therapy under The Microscope to treat the condition. No matter the stage we can treat periodontal disease. How advanced the condition is will determine the number of laser sessions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 “As the infection takes hold it travels below the gum line to the root of the tooth and starts to attack the bone’s structures that hold your teeth into your jaw making them weaker.

1. Gingivitis – Plaque builds on teeth causing irritation and swelling, gums appear red and swollen and may start to bleed. Other symptoms can be present including halitosis also known as bad breath
2. Mild Periodontitis – If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into the first stage of periodontitis. Gums may feel tender, they may appear to be pale in colour. The plaque that was lingering on teeth previously will look and feel different at this stage as it hardens and becomes tartar. Tartar is the brownish hard build up in and around the tooth. As the infection takes hold it travels below the gum line to the root of the teeth and starts to attack the bone’s structures that hold your teeth into your jaw making them weaker. These structures play a vital role in keeping your teeth safe and secure. Taking action at this point is vital to reduce your risk of tooth loss
3. Moderate Periodontitis – If periodontitis has progressed, gums will have receded to the extent that more of the tooth is on show, this exposure can increase the risk of tooth decay. The impact of the infection below the gum line means the bone in the jaw is now under attack. At this stage, teeth can feel like they are gliding, or drifting and may feel completely mobile in the mouth.  Because of the infection, an unpleasant taste and odour will be present and is a major red flag to seek help
4. Severe Periodontitis – At this stage, teeth will be visibly longer, and gums shrunken. There will likely be pain and discomfort. Teeth will feel lose; without treatment, teeth are likely to fall out

 

What causes periodontal disease

  • If teeth and gums aren’t cleaned effectivly bacteria builds up in the mouth and causes periodontal disease
  • Bacteria form on the tooth’s surface, between teeth and around the gums
  • First in the form of a sticky, yellowish substance known as plaque
  • Plaque then hardens creating a darker in colour substance called tartar
  • Some people are genetically predisposed to getting periodontal disease, so it always worth speaking you your relatives to understand if anyone in your close family has the disease

How periodontal disease is treated

Traditionally, once diagnosed, after an examination and potentially x-rays, you will be prescribed a course of treatment which will involve deep scaling.  In some cases, you may be prescribed medicine to take orally, or it may be placed on the site of the infection. 

A new approach to treating gum disease is now available that uses microbiological analysis determine the quantity of bad bacteria and a genetic risk test shows if you are predisposed to the disease. 

A treatment plan is prescribed which involves a number of dental laser sessions performed under the microscope. 

This clinically proven treatment has changed the smiles of thousands of patients. It not only improves their oral health, treating the infection, and managing the disease but has improved their overall health.

If you would like to discuss the treatment, book a no-obligation consultation with our team. No matter how advanced periodontal disease is, we are here to help and treat you.

If you have symptoms or signs of periodontal disease, it is important to book in and see a dental professional. Your dentist may refer you to see a periodontist. Periodontists focus on the management of Periodontal disease. You are also able to self-refer if you have symptoms.

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To book an appointment you can contact the clinic or book an appointment online. Our friendly team in the clinic are always delighted to hear from new patients. No matter your dental history or oral health we welcome you to Fulham Dental Clinic.