Periodontal Disease Gum disease
Dr Mark Howdle is a Specialist Periodontist at Cheshire Smile Clinic. He can offer expert advice and optimal treatment which is often very successful meaning you keep more natural teeth and gum and bone rather than losing teeth prematurely.
Call 0151 423 1601
Do you suffer from gum disease?
The following are symptoms that you may have periodontal disease:
- Bleeding gums after tooth brushing
- Red, swollen gums, a bad taste
- Pus or tooth abscesses
- Loose teeth and drifting teeth
- Sensitive teeth
What is periodontal disease?
Some people are susceptible to gum disease due to their genetic makeup and other factors e.g. smoking habit, stress and some medications.
I am susceptible to gum disease does that mean I will lose all my teeth?
With specialist treatment the progress of gum disease often decelerates, you will keep more natural teeth for longer and keep more gum and bone that supports your teeth.
How is gum disease diagnosed?
General dentists screen their patients for gum disease at every dental examination by gently feeling around teeth with a gum probe. This detects deep gum pockets that indicate the locations where the supporting gum and bone has dissolved away.
What is the benefits of specialist treatment?
A Periodontist is a specialist concerned with treating gum disease. An expert assessment takes place including gum measurements and dental x-ray pictures to identify areas of bone loss around teeth.
Treatment involves cleaning away the hard deposits on teeth (calculus or tartar) above and below your gum. Sometimes a surgical approach is recommended with a local anaesthetic for comfort in order to carefully clean deep below the gum. Very occasionally long-term antibiotics are prescribed.
How successful is treatment?
The advantage of specialist treatment it that it offers the best possible outcome. Most patients respond favourably to treatment.
What is the patients role in treatment?
A patients home care plays the most important role in maintaining meticulous ‘plaque control’ twice a day, patients must become black belt tooth brushers! Consider that a patients home care represents 95% of the annual tooth cleaning, whilst the hygienist cleaning represents only 5%.
Why is a 2 to 3 monthly recall with the hygienist/dental therapist necessary?
Professional tooth cleaning helps keep difficult areas free of hard calculus that harbours bad bacteria. The hygienist helps you perfect your home care and regular monitors gum health on a regular basis which is important because it is an opportunity to identify and ‘burst of gum disease activity’ as soon as they occur.
What happens without treatment?
Without treatment gum and bone continues to slowly dissolve away, surprisingly this is often a painless condition until the disease reaches an advanced stage when teeth become sensitive, painful gum infections develop and teeth become so loose they need to be removed.
What to do next
If you have been told you are susceptible to gum disease, or suspect you may have gum disease discuss it with your general dentist first. You can ask for a referral to a Specialist Periodontist .