What is Periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease or ‘’gum disease’’ occurs when gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) has advanced and become more severe causing inflammation, redness, bleeding and swelling which can, if left untreated lead to the loss of bone surrounding the teeth.
Gingivitis typically sets in due to poor oral hygiene habits and a build-up of plaque, and tartar. Regular dental check-ups and routine hygiene visits can help to avoid this condition, but if it does occur, professional treatment can reverse it.
Periodontitis however, is a more severe form of gum disease in which the body’s inflammatory response, destroys surrounding bone and tissue, as the gums begin to separate from the teeth. Your bone and gum tissue should fit tightly around your teeth, however, this separation causes spaces or ‘’pockets’’ to develop, which in bacteria gets trapped and can lead to infection. Over time pockets become deeper and lead to damage of the deeper structures that anchor the roots of the teeth. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the teeth will need to be extracted.
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How is a Periodontal procedure carried out?
Here at LPID, our specialist Periodontist will measure the depth of your pocket(s) and will first try to reduce them through a series of non-invasive periodontal treatments known as scaling and root planning, root surface debridement or ‘’deep cleaning.’’
Only if the pockets around your teeth have not reduced significantly enough will your Periodontist suggest further treatment known as periodontal or ‘’pocket surgery.’’ The reason surgery is recommended at this point, is that maintaining the health of any lingering pockets becomes unpredictable for both you and your hygienist.
When we decide to carry out a periodontal surgery on a particular area of the mouth, your Periodontist will begin by gently folding back the gum tissue to reach and remove the disease-causing bacteria before securing the tissue into place. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are either smoothed down or regenerated (depending on the case) to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide, this allows the gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone.
Reducing pocket depth and eliminating existing bacteria is important to prevent future damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease and to help you maintain a healthy smile. Eliminating bacteria alone may not be sufficient in preventing disease recurrence however, and other factors such as smoking, good home care, controlled diabetes, etc, might also play a role. At LPID we assess each patient on an individual basis, so we can try to identify and control specific risk factors.
Deeper pockets are more difficult for you and your dental care professional to clean, so it’s important to reduce them. Reduced pockets and a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth – and decrease the chance of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.
Am I a suitable candidate for this treatment?
Patients with severe or advanced disease around their gums and the tissue that supports their teeth are usually the most ideal candidates for periodontal surgery, symptoms of advanced disease include; red or swollen gums that bleed, visible gaps between your gums and teeth or that recede or pull away from your teeth, loose or movable teeth, pain when chewing and bad breath.
If you would like to find out more about Periodontal Treatments at LPID please contact us on: 0207 563 9989