Why Periodontal


When people think about dental health, they often forget about one important aspect – the health of their gums. Gums are an essential element of your dental wellbeing as, when healthy, they fit flush against your teeth providing the majority of the support needed to hold them in place.

In its earliest stages, gum disease (known as gingivitis), is limited to the gums. However, if it is not dealt with and the disease progresses it can spread to the tissue and bone that supports the tooth. When this happens you may find that gaps appear between the tooth and gums, which make it easy for food particles and bacteria to become trapped and make the infection worse. As the tissue and bone begin to deteriorate, teeth may loosen, move around in the jaw and even fall out altogether.

As always, prevention is far better than cure when it comes to your oral health, but if you already have some of the symptoms of periodontal disease there are a number of therapies that our doctors may be able to offer you.

Why do I need periodontal therapy?

As a warm, moist environment, the mouth makes the ideal breeding ground for bacteria, meaning that infection can spread extremely quickly. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to a whole range of other health problems. These include an increased risk of developing any of the following conditions:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease and heart attack
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

Periodontal therapy can also improve your breath (halitosis is a major symptom of the disease), remove any tartar which is important for healthy teeth and gums, and ensure you retain a confident, full smile that you can’t help but share.

Risks to pregnant/nursing women and their babies

This is because research has shown that the presence of periodontal disease can lead to an increased health risk to both mother and her developing baby. These risks can include life-threatening pre-eclampsia, and very early/preterm labor and delivery. Periodontal therapies are highly recommended, although even the proper treatment of gum disease may not completely prevent problems at birth. Unfortunately, pregnant women are more susceptible to periodontal disease and other oral health problems due to their fluctuating hormones compromising the ability to resist disease. In fact, a large percentage of women often find they suffer from inflamed gum tissue during their pregnancy for this very reason.

Are There Any Risks That I need to be Aware of?

The risks associated with periodontal therapies vary depending on which type of treatment you have. However, they are all generally considered to be extremely safe, with the only real risk being one of possible infection as a result of work on the gum. In this case, oral antibiotics are usually sufficient to deal with the problem.

We highly recommend that you consult with a doctor regarding your unique dental needs, as he/she will be best placed to advise you if there are any specific risks that you should be made aware of.

How Do I Know if I Have Periodontal Disease?

Thankfully there are some clear symptoms that you can look out for, and spotting these will make it easier for you to act quickly and protect the long-term health of your gums and teeth. These include:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Swollen, red, and tender gums
  • Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Teeth that appear loose
  • Gums that appear to be receding

If you have any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, then we recommend you make an appointment with one of our highly trained doctors as soon as possible to avoid further complications and risks to your oral and general health.

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