Hygiene Services



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Hygiene Services

Periodontal Prevention Treatment and Maintenance Program

Introduction

The foundation for healthy teeth is to have healthy gum tissue, bone and ligaments which surround each tooth allowing for movement during chewing and other mechanical forces.

Surprisingly, up to 80% of all adults have gum disease & suffer some degree of damage to their gum tissue, ligaments or bone. This can lead to lose teeth, teeth appearing longer (long in the tooth) and eventually early tooth loss if left untreated.

The technical term for gum disease is periodontitis. It may affect a small number of teeth (localised) or many teeth (generalised). An important pre cursor of Periodontitis is Gingivitis which is inflammation of the gums due to plaque accumulation which can easily be reversed by meticulous oral hygiene practices. Periodontitis unfortunately cannot be reversed but can be stabilised and maintained to preserve natural teeth as long as possible.



What causes Periodontitis?

The main cause of gum disease is Dental Plaque and the body’s response to it in the mouth. Risk factors such as Diabetes, smoking, genetic disorders, hormonal changes and stress have all been shown to contribute to our degree of susceptibility in having periodontitis. Recent studies have shown a strong relationship between gum disease and cardiovascular disease and respiratory infections. New studies even suggest a possible link with osteoporosis.



Aims

Our main aim is to educate our patients about the factors which lead to gingivitis and periodontitis. We use a comprehensive clinical scoring system to determine if any disease is present. This gives our patients the opportunity to minimise any further attachment loss which helps preserve their smile for a lifetime. This cannot be done without our patient’s commitment and dedication to tooth brushing twice daily with regular cleaning in between teeth using devices tailored specifically to the patient’s capability and needs.



How do we diagnose periodontal disease?

  • Full Dental Examination including oral cancer screening

  • Basic Periodontal Examination. Sores 0-4

  • Radiographs to assess bone levels

  • Full Periodontal 6 point pocket depth assessment.

What do we evaluate?

  • Clinical Appearance of the gums - red, swelling, irregular.

  • Pocket Depth Measurements – 0-3mm healthy, 4mm and above disease in the form of tissue swelling (severe gingivitis) or loss of attachment (periodontitis).

  • Bleeding on Probing - indicates inflammation

  • Pus discharge from pockets- likely to indicate active on going chronic disease.

  • Tooth mobility – loose teeth due to loss of supporting structures.

  • Furcation involvement – bone loss between roots of molar teeth.

  • Recession – Exposed root surfaces, related to attachment loss, post periodontal treatment, chronic mechanical trauma from over enthusiastic tooth brush scrubbing.


Periodontal Disease Scoring System


Diagnosis of Periodontal Disease

Score/level of disease



Treatment Recommendations

0 = Healthy no disease

Reinforcement of Oral Hygiene Practices

Stain Removal appointment if required



1 = Bleeding on Probing Gingivitis

(inflammation at the margins where the tooth and gums meet)



Tailored Oral Hygiene Instructions.

Interproximal cleaning instructions

Antibacterial mouth wash used to complement daily tooth brushing

Smoking cessation and support

Stain Removal Appointment if required


2 = Bleeding on Probing, presence of plaque, calculus(tartar) and/or rough filling, excess filling material or crown margin causing gum irritation.

All above along with scaling and polishing to remove all tartar deposits.

Replacement of old rough fillings or removal of excess filling material.




3 = Pocket depths of 4-6mm, excessive gum inflammation causing severe tissue swelling or possible early periodontitis.


As above, Fine scaling done to promote tissue healing.

Review appointment organised for full 6 point pocket depth assessment to establish degree of disease.



4 = Chronic Periodontitis

Pocket Depths 6mm and above

Possible Tooth Mobility

Gum Recession

Pus Discharge

Possible Halitosis(bad breath)



Full Periodontal Assessment.

6 Point pocket assessment

Range of Radiographs(x-rays)

Root Surface Debridement with Local anaesthetic of all affected teeth which has pockets of 4mm or above.



Essential and continued monitoring and maintenance visits possibly using modern methods such as locally applied antibiotic agent to non responsive sites, or the introduction of a systemic (swallowed) antibiotic to suppress the body’s own inflammatory response responsible for the damage.


Copyright © Mark Hill 2010


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