About gum – periodontal – disease

The initiating factor for gum (periodontal disease) disease is plaque residue on the teeth. Plaque is a biofilm of harmful bacteria which multiplies every 30 minutes. Controlling dental plaque is a real challenge. The aim both of dental hygiene and gum treatments is to control the plaque formation and disrupt it before it becomes pathogenic.

The last adult dental health survey of 1988 stated that 80% of the population will have gingivitis at some point and that 20% of population will develop gum (periodontal) disease.

There are 2 main forms of gum disease:

  1. gingiivitis, which is considered to be the superficial inflammation of gum tissues
  2. periodontitis, where the bone and fibres supporting the tooth within the bone are affected

Of the two conditions, periodontitis is the more serious one. It is also worth knowing that neglected and long standing gingivitis can progress into periodontitis.

Gingivitis affect people of all ages, though young children seem to be least affected. Mild cases are often unnoticed and there are often no symptoms. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can gradually progress, resulting in the destruction of surrounding structures, bone and tooth attaching fibres.

So, if you are suspecting that you have developed gingivitis, contact you dental care team to treat it and get appropriate advise on home care.

Our team at Glowing Smiles will carry out thorough examination of your gums and will treat the condition.


Understanding Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection. As yet, there is no permanent cure for gum disease. This is why an excellent plaque control is so important. Treatment of gum disease can stop the progress of gum disease and return your gums to good health. In some cases, specialist treatment is required to regenerate bone loss.

Even if you have lost some teeth and others cannot be saved, once your gum disease is under control, dental implants might be a solution. However, it is most important to look after and professionally maintain those implants once they have been placed.

Here, at Glowing Smiles, we help our patients to maintain good level of oral hygiene around the implants as well.

Types of periodontal treatment

1. Treatment of chronic periodontitis

Between 10-15% of population will loose some of their teeth as a result of chronic periodontitis. These patients can present with advanced levels of attachment (bone) loss and pocketing in their twenties and thirties. Although many patients do not link their symptoms with gum disease, other patients observe bleeding gums, either spontaneously or on brushing and flossing, drifting of some teeth, loose teeth, bad breath or discomfort while eating.

All of the above symptoms are associated with gum disease. Early diagnosis is important in order to start the treatment early and prevent complications.

The treatment of chronic periodontitis is highly successful in saving the teeth and improving quality of patient’s life. Non surgical periodontal therapy is the gold standard modality in controlling chronic periodontal disease, especially where probing depth of the pockets is 6mm or less.

In practice, clinicians typically use two types of instrumentation or the purpose of treatment : hand instrumentation (hi) and ultrasonic debridement (usd). Scientific research generally accepts the use of both types of instrumentation in delivery of effective treatment.

Non surgical therapy can be also effective in cases, where there is a case of unresponsive or refractory disease. We have experienced very good treatment outcomes in cases where meticulous instrumentation has improved periodontal health substantially.

2. Supportive periodontal treatment – long term maintenance of your gums

In order to aid gums and keep them in health, long term regular, 3 monthly hygiene treatment supportive therapy (spt) has been recognised as an effective patient’s aid.

The optimal frequency to keep your gum problems under control is based on the valid and precise research. Current evidence suggest spt at 3 months intervals is most effective.

Here, you will find the outline of spt appointment protocol:

  • identifying and recording any problem sites
  • identifying sites presenting with bleeding on probing
  • monitoring of sites, which are bleeding on probing
  • therapeutic treatment of these sites
  • plaque levels assessment, plaque stagnation points identification
  • advice on home care and effective plaque control measures at home – focus on specific problem areas

It is imperative that specific problem areas in your mouth are being addressed and monitored at each appointment.

Please contact our reception staff to arrange your appointments. Telephone 020 3441 8182.

Gum disease in the 21st century

Though oral hygiene in general has improved, there is the problem of altered host response. Evidence shows that gum disease is more prevalent in the 21 century than ever.

An altered host response in the presence of plaque will make an individual more susceptible to gum disease.

Host modulating factors include smoking, systemic diseases, genetics and the development of specific bacteria.

Smoking is now well recognised as an important causal factor for severe gum
(periodontal) disease. Smokers have an impaired immune response to plaque and altered response to the treatment. That’s why smoking cessation advice, or access to it is part of our treatment delivery to our patients here at glowing smiles, independent dental hygiene clinic in East Sheen.

Equally, patients who are taking calcium channel blockers, which cause inflammation of the gums, do face similar challenges and impaired treatment outcomes.

That is why regular appointments with the hygienist are extremely valuable to those patients.

Diabetes is another high risk factor for patients with gum disease. Recent research also confirms that there is a bi-directional link between gum disease and diabetes. This means that gum disease can trigger diabetes in a patient with impaired immune responses.

Some specialists in the field go as far as suggesting that all dental practitioners should be offering routine diabetes screening to patients with gum disease.

Here, at Glowing Smiles we have successfully referred a number of our patients for diabetic screening in the recent months. We were pleased to assist our patients with the correct diagnosis of diabetes, where they were not aware of their condition.

We are also pleased to say, that some diabetic patients, who have received good and effective dental hygiene and gum treatments and became better at managing their gum condition, have been able to reduce their diabetic medication. This is due to their periodontal condition being improved.

Here, in our independent dental hygiene clinic, we believe that glowing smiles are healthy smiles.

To book an appointment please call 020 34418182 or fill out our contact form.