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Face up to periodontal problems A.S.A.P.

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Home  /  Periodontal - Dental News  /  Face up to periodontal problems A.S.A.P.

Periodontal problems may seem like an ultra-serious problem. But it needn’t be – and here’s what you can do about the issue.

One of the big plus points of writing our regular blogs is that they tend to provoke questions from our patients. Sometimes, we’ll mention a symptom or a type of treatment that might be relevant tot hem, and next thing you know, they’re visiting us in the surgery and looking to find out more.


Very often, they’re ‘half expert’ on the topic already, and are really only looking of confirmation of what they already know. But there’s one topic that seems to confuse them time and again – the subject of periodontics. They either don't know much about the topic, or what they think they know proves to be unfounded.


So let’s start at the beginning and try to explain some of the things you need to know. First of all – a definition. We define periodontics as the particular wing of dentistry that concerns itself with the structures which support or surround your teeth.


In other words, it’s not about teeth themselves, but obviously, the consequences can be just as serious. It stands to reason that if your gums can’t support a tooth – even a healthy one – then you’ll lose the tooth. And bear in mind that like any form of disease, periodontal problems can easily spread, so more than one tooth may be at risk.


The more commonly used term to describe periodontal disease is gum disease, and most of us have suffered from it at one stage or another. So what’s the problem, you may say. Well simply this – if you neglect the condition, it not only spreads around your mouth, but also becomes more virulent and more dangerous.


There are many gradients of gum disease, and at the earliest stages of the disease, it may simply be a matter of tightening up on your dental hygiene routine to sort the problem effectively.


The root cause of gum disease is bacterial infection, and as you probably know, bacteria can spread like wildfire unless it's stopped in its tracks. That’s why you should use a mouthwash and a toothpaste that include anti-bacterial properties.


Gum disease is something of an oddity in that it can affect a single tooth or multiple teeth. Why would it affect a single tooth? Well, perhaps your brushing action is missing a hard-to-reach tooth – so the bacteria are untouched when you brush around the area.


Will I know I have gum disease?

Usually, you’ll have a fair idea that something is amiss, with one or more of the following symptoms coming to the fore:


•  The gums become can become inflamed and look quite red when you check them out in the bathroom mirror.


• You suddenly experience a loss of bone density – something that’s also quite obvious in the mirror.


• In advanced circumstances, you may be suffering from a periodontal abscess.


 If you don't pick up on these tell-tale signs, your dentist will spot them at your regular check-up, which is another good reason for making sure that you see your dentist on a regular basis.


For more information

If you’d like to know more about periodontal disease, here’s an excellent starting point - http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/G/Gingivitis-and-periodontitis/Treating-gum-disease.html