Gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss over the age of 35. Research demonstrates that, with regular supportive care and good plaque control, many teeth that have gum disease can be treated and maintained for many years.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums which has spread to the bone and supporting structures around a tooth.
Gum disease causes:
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Shrinkage of the gums
- Sensitivity to cold and hot things
- Loosening and loss of teeth
About 10% of the population is more prone to the effects of plaque and are susceptible to early tooth loss. These patients need to be very good at their plaque control and need regular professional supportive care.
- Plaque is a slimy layer of bacteria which particularly collects where the gum and teeth meet
- The bacteria in plaque cause gum disease
- Plaque will form within a few hours of brushing your teeth
How do we treat gum disease?
- First, we assess where the gum disease is present in your mouth and where the plaque is in your mouth. We will advise you if any teeth are beyond saving.
- Next, we remove the deposits of soft plaque and harder tartar from your teeth.
- We also show you how and give you the correct tools for you to remove the plaque every day.
- Next, we check that all the gum disease has been eliminated and that you are removing the plaque well on a daily basis.
- Finally, we regularly re-check that the gum disease is not returning and re-check that you are removing the plaque well. If it is returning anywhere in your mouth we treat it early before it fully re-establishes. In most patients this re-checking needs to be performed by your periodontist or dentist every three months. We call this part of the treatment monitoring and supportive therapy.
Monitoring and Supportive Therapy
We see the biggest reason for failure of gum treatment being lack of monitoring and supportive therapy. Unfortunately, susceptibility to gum disease is a life-long problem and the research shows that to keep gum disease at bay we there are three important factors:
- Excellent daily plaque control by you.
- Regular monitoring by us or your dentist to check that you are removing all plaque and an assessment of your gums to check that the gum disease is not creeping back anywhere.
- Regular supportive therapy to re-treat any areas where gum disease is beginning to return and to treat it early before it causes serious damage.
Can implants get gum disease?
Yes, they can.The proper term for this is peri-implantitis. If the gums around your implant bleed on brushing or you notice a discharge from the gum around an implant or an unpleasant taste coming from around your implant you must contact a trained implant dentist immediately.
Contact an implant dentist (implantologist) immediately if you notice any of the following occurring around your implants:
- Bleeding on brushing
- A discharge from the gum
- An unpleasant taste
If I have gum disease, can I have implants?
Yes you can but your treatment must follow this order:
- Treat your gum disease
- Demonstrate that you can maintain good enough plaque control to stop the gum disease from returning
- Place the implants
- Regular monitoring and supportive care for life
How much does the treatment of gum disease cost?
Below is an example of the cost of gum treatment for a patient with the majority of their own teeth. The treatment cost can be lower if you have a number of missing teeth.
|Initial screening with the dentist||£132|
|4 treatment sessions (one initial visit of 90 minutes, and 3 further visits each lasting 60 minutes)||£598|
|Re-screening with the dentist||£132|
|Maintenance and supportive care per visit||£69|
All fees are estimates and all patients will be given a full, personalised written estimate before commencing treatment. Please contact us to discuss finance schemes, as we provide the option for you to pay for your treatment in instalments.