Periodontics (treatment of gum disease)

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontitis is inflammation of the periodontium, i.e. the tissue holding the tooth. If left untreated it can lead to tooth loss and bad breath. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.

Bacteria contained in the plaque on the surface of the tooth causes an inflammation of the gums and if left untreated affects the gums, bones and other supporting tissues of the teeth. It leads to a pocket forming between the root of the tooth and the gum where bacteria can easily proliferate and calculus develop. Although most individuals suffer gum inflammation from time to time, 10% of the population appear to suffer from more severe forms of gum disease.

What causes Periodontitis?

Three major factors are thought to be responsible for periodontal disease, and inadequate oral hygiene is a contributing factor. Family history, stress and smoking are all important risk factors. Certain general diseases such as diabetes may also increase susceptibility.

How do I know if I have the disease?

The signs and symptoms of periodontal disease are extremely variable but can include reddening and swelling of the gums, gums that bleed on brushing together with signs of loose teeth, a bad taste in the mouth and bad breath. However, because pain is rarely a symptom until the disease is at an advanced stage, it is possible to be unaware of the signs.