Colchester Dental Referral Centre
841 The Crescent
Colchester Business Park
Tel: 01206 756 813
Fax: 01206 854 767
For all your enquiries
What is Gum treatment? Fee Guide
About Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is a disease which affects the gums and/or the bone which support the teeth; the word periodontal literally means ‘around the tooth’. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a bacterial infection that, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. It can affect one or more teeth and begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colourless film that constantly forms on your teeth) cause the gums to become inflamed.
Many instances of gum disease can be treated by your regular dentist. However, if your condition is more serious, or if you need specialist or complex treatment for periodontal disease, your dentist may refer you to the periodontists here at Colchester Dental Referral Centre. We accept referrals from dental and medical practices throughout East Anglia.
Dr Angela Nketia talks about gum problems and periodontal disease.
Types of periodontal disease
The mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, causes inflammation of the gums so they become red, swell and bleed easily. Bleeding gums is the very first sign of gingivitis and most people notice this when brushing their teeth. There is usually little or no discomfort. Gingivitis is often caused by poor oral hygiene. If caught in the early stages, it can be reversed with professional dental treatment followed by good oral health care.
Untreated gingivitis can lead to other periodontal conditions, including periodontitis. This happens when plaque spreads and grows between the gum line. The plaque bacteria irritate the gums, causing a breakdown of the tissues and bone that support the teeth. The gums then separate from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected. As the disease progresses, these pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed – often with only very mild symptoms. Eventually, the teeth can become loose or wobbly and may have to be removed.
The causes of periodontal disease
Although plaque is the main cause of gum disease, there are a number of risk factors that make some people more susceptible.
Smoking and tobacco use
Most people know tobacco use is linked with many serious illnesses such as lung cancer and heart disease – but many people don’t realise that smokers are also at higher risk of gum disease. This is because smoking slows down the delivery of blood to the gums, increasing bacterial plaque. In fact, recent studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.
Research has shown that up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Even with excellent oral hygiene habits, these people may be six times more likely to develop periodontal disease.
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Last updated: 1/5/2018 at 14:20 GMT