So what’s the secret tooth enemy? The number one nemesis of teeth is periodontitis, often called the ‘silent killer’ of dental health, and globally it’s showing an exponential rise. It’s a chronic inflammatory disease triggered by bacterial microorganisms that is currently the talk of scientists. The NYU College of Dentistry estimates that almost half of all adults aged 30 and over have some form of gum disease. The Economist has carried out a study dedicated to the societal and economic impact of periodontitis. It’s due to the fact that what starts as an infection in the mouth can lead to diabetes and even cardiovascular disease. So let’s take a closer look at this menace of modern day living.
Periodontitis refers to infection and disease that – as the Greek-origin word suggests – is located around the tooth i.e. the gums. The periodontium includes everything that is holding your tooth in the jawbone: the gum (officially called the gingiva), the bone, the fibres anchoring the tooth as well as the supportive structure on the surface of the root (cementum). In a healthy tooth, the periodontium surrounds the entire root. So what happens when there’s periodontitis?
Bacteria spreads either into the bone or the ligaments holding the teeth and the reason for its formidable reputation is that it usually causes no pain. The soft tissue around your teeth suffers damage and your teeth can loosen. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to bone erosion and tooth loss very quickly. It can also lead to problems with chewing and speaking. Therefore it continues to dominate as the main threat to oral health. Periodontitis often begins as gingivitis, a less severe infection that causes redness, irritation and swelling of the gum around the base of the teeth. So the advice from dentists like myself and global experts is to eliminate gingivitis before the situation deteriorates. But what if it’s too late?
Where does Periodontitis come from?
Periodontitis is usually the result of poor oral hygiene because it starts with the build-up of bacteria around the tooth. Studies in the USA have revealed that periodontitis affects around 70% of adults aged 65 and older but the bottom line is, this is not simply a dental issue.
What are underlying factors of periodontitis?
There are certain factors that can increase your risk of periodontitis such as:
· Poor oral hygiene
· Hereditary issues
· Crooked teeth
· Underlying immune-deficiencies
· Defective fillings
What are some signs of periodontitis?
Here are some tell-tale signs:
· Gums feeling sensitive or tender when touched
· Bad breath
· Noticing pus between the teeth and gums
· Loose teeth or the loss of teeth
· Painful chewing
· Receding gums that make your teeth look longer
· A change in the ‘fit’ of your teeth when you bite
Thankfully periodontitis is stoppable and with a biological approach too! Thanks to the magic of laser technology and PRF treatments, we can tackle periodontal disease with 100% efficacy! PRF or platelet-rich fibrin applications are geared to accelerate healing. It’s a mixture of platelets, stem cells and growth factors designed to stimulate tissue building, resulting in a positive outcome of the dental treatment.
In line with the natural philosophy of our clinic, this also means that we do not administer antibiotics for post-treatment recovery. Also all materials used throughout the procedure are autologous which means they are free from additives that could potentially create allergies or side effects!
What is Biological Periodontal Treatment?
Ok let’s have a deeper look at this example of fantastic dentistry! The procedure is simply, convenient and pain-free!
The first step is the cleaning process and the removal of dental plaque from the root using state-of-the-art tools. This consists of scaling and root ‘planing’, a procedure which smoothens down the roots of the teeth in order to help the gums re-attach to the tooth. Thanks to anaesthesia, this allows the method to be carried out safely and comfortably.
The second step is the laser treatment that is needed in order to eliminate all traces of bacteria after the initial cleaning process. The laser technology has the intensity to destroy all toxins in any products applied and therefore reduces the possibility of periodontitis considerably.
The third and final step is to apply the PRF, which essentially means the installation of stem cells and growth factors. It’s the only way to revitalise healthy gums over your exposed roots. These wondrous components allow self-healing of the teeth and gums, making it a super effective method.