Periodontitis is the 6th most prevalent disease throughout the world and significantly linked to general well-being and longevity. It is often ‘silent’ and can be present for decades without diagnosis and treatment. Great gum health is important for your smile, comfort, confidence and quality of life. In addition, there has been a great deal of research about possible effects of gum disease on your general health.
Periodontal disease affects the gums, bone and other supporting tissues of the teeth. Although most individuals suffer gum inflammation from time to time, around 10% of the population appear to suffer from the more severe forms of the disease which cause loss of supporting bone. This group appears to be at greatest risk of losing teeth through periodontal disease. It is caused by the bacteria which regularly collect on the teeth.
The treatment of gum disease is tailor made and it depends on the severity of the problem. It can be dealt with by your dentist, hygienist or referral to our periodontist Dr Anjana Sagar.
Around 10% of the population is susceptible. Our knowledge is improving all the time of why this is, although 3 major factors are thought to be responsible. Family history, stress and smoking are all important risk factors. Stopping smoking is an important part of reducing the risk of developing the disease. Certain general diseases such as diabetes may also make an individual more susceptible like in following cases
Smoking: Numerous studies have shown that smokers have more gum disease. Smokers have increased levels of tartar in the mouth, and experience more tissue irritation, which makes their gums more susceptible to disease. Smokers have more bone loss and heal less quickly than non-smokers.
Stress: When our immune system is stressed it is difficult to fight off the bacteria that cause gum infections.
Dental neglect: Avoiding the dentist is a lifestyle choice that puts you at risk of contracting diseases of the mouth, teeth and gums.
Floss or die! Your hygienist or dentist works to prevent infection in your mouth from entering the bloodstream and reaching vital organs.
Heart disease: Gum inflammation products and bacteria in gum disease can cause heart disease, and in some cases, double the risk of a fatal heart attack. In addition, bacteria from your mouth may combine with blood-clotting cells called platelets, forming heart-stopping blood clots.
Stroke: New studies show that 70% of the fatty deposits of stroke sufferers contain bacteria, of which 40% comes from the mouth.
Diabetics: This group of people are more likely to have gum disease than most people and gum disease makes it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar.
The signs and symptoms of periodontal disease vary significantly but may include gums that bleed when brushing, together with signs of more advanced disease such as movement or drifting of the teeth. However, it is possible to have the disease and not be aware of these signs. It is essential to see your dentist regularly so that special assessment techniques, sometimes including x-rays, can be carried out as part of your routine dental examinations.
Regular examinations by your dentist will ensure that the right diagnosis is made. Your dentist will be able to advise you about any necessary treatment. This will often include specific oral hygiene methods to help you control the bacteria that collect on your teeth. There may also be a need to carry out some professional cleaning of your teeth. Most cases of periodontal disease can be successfully treated by your dentist using methods such as these. Occasionally, more complex treatments are required and your dentist will advise you accordingly.
Meet dr ANJANA SAGAR
BDS, MFDS RCS(ED), PGDIP, GDC – 229814
PRACTICE LIMITED TO PERIODONTICS
Anjana graduated in Dentistry from King’s College London in 2012. After working in general practice in Surrey, Anjana worked in the field of Restorative Dentistry and Oral Surgery as a Senior House Officer at Guy’s Hospital. She completed membership exams to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Dental Care from The University of Kent. Anjana has concluded a 4-year specialist training programme in Periodontology at Guy’s Hospital.
Anjana’s extensive clinical and academic background, alongside continual professional development, enable her to offer the highest standards of evidence-based patient care, tailored to each patient’s specific needs.Read More