OUR AIM IS FOR OUR PATIENTS TO HAVE NORMAL & HEALTHY GUMS
Periodontal measurements have always been part of Dr Anderson’s initial and regular annual dental examinations.
Our patients are informed about their gum health and treatment needs if required.
We have found regular periodontal care, while it does not recreate the connective tissue or bone, reduces the inflammation – and as the bottoms of the pockets become healthy the gum tightens and the tooth becomes firmer.
At this stage, which is indicated when the pocket does not bleed to periodontal probing or measurement, those regular visits can reduce to twice a year or perhaps even annually.
Our cost for periodontal disease diagnosis is included in the cost of the examination, while the cost of periodontal maintenance depends on the time needed per appointment and therefore on the progress or otherwise of the disease.
Normal & Healthy Gums
Periodontal disease starts as a gum infection (called gingivitis) and presents as swollen and bleeding gums.
It is the most common infection in the world.
This gum infection is caused by plaque.
Plaque is the joining up of several varieties of bacteria that live on the teeth and mouth tissue. These “clumps” of bacteria or plaque form mainly around the gum edges.
If left untreated the periodontal infection can spread down into the tooth root and destroy the connective tissue and bone that hold the tooth in place. This loosens the tooth in its socket. Before the tooth moves and biting down on it hurts, the gum infection is usually asymptomatic. Because there are no symptoms, treatment of the infection is often left until it is too late to save the tooth, or until the disease is so entrenched it can be classed as a chronic condition.
So, checking your gum health at your annual dental examination is vital.
Healthy gums have periodontal/gum pockets that that have a measured depth of no more than 3mm. Pockets up to this depth can be maintained/”cleaned” at home. Deeper pockets need regular treatment (scaling and or root planing) as often as every three to four months in order to “clean” out the bacteria that are causing the infection.
Periodontal “cleaning” can be done by a general dentist, hygienist or if the problem is severe, a Periodontist who is a specialist in this area of gum disease.
Researchers[*] are studying the link between periodontal disease and
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
Images: Berns, Joel M. DMD (What is Periodontal disease?)
Understanding Periodontal Disease 2nd edition,
Quintessence Publishing Co. Inc. Carol Stream, Illinois USA 199 p. 50 & 51
*Ref: Kim J, Amar S.
Periodontal disease and systemic conditions: a bidirectional relationship.
Odontology / the Society of the Nippon Dental University.