This article, part 4 of 4, presents a number of questions that are frequently asked by patients about periodontal gum disease.
This dentist has used this four-part FAQ series to spread a greater understanding of periodontal (gum) disease and the various treatment options available. Since many patients avoid the dentist’s chair out of fear, anxiety or even embarrassment, it is the purpose of this information to encourage those that need treatment to seek it; or at least to help them realize that their oral health is at risk. In this, the fourth and final article installment of this FAQ series, the dentist will be answering some final questions about the repercussions of periodontal disease left untreated…
FAQ # 9: If I am diagnosed with gum disease, can my teeth be saved?
The most important point to remember here, says the dentist is that the earlier the disease is diagnosed, the greater your chance of making a complete recovery will be. Periodontal disease causes all sorts of terrible symptoms, including severe tooth discoloration and tooth loss! Ignoring missing teeth subsequently leads to atrophy of the underlying jaw bone tissue, which in turn causes a whole suite of expensive oral problems. By seeking regular professional attention from the dentist, any signs of oral bacterial infection can be diagnosed and treated before they have a chance to do permanent damage.
Presenting with periodontitis does not necessarily mean that you are going to lose all your teeth. But it certainly puts you at a risk of tooth loss! With the right periodontal care by this dentist, and subsequently, proper home oral hygiene, your teeth can indeed be saved. But remember, the key is to catch it early on, so if it has been more than six months since your last appointment, perhaps now is a good time to make that phone call!
FAQ # 10: What happens if I don’t seek treatment for gum disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is an acute and chronic bacterial infection of the gums; one that has penetrated deep down into the gingival sulci surrounding the tooth roots. While this condition progresses quite slowly, the inevitable consequences of allowing it to go without treatment are tooth loss. Moreover, says the dentist, periodontal disease has been shown to share significant relationships with other very serious and potentially fatal systemic diseases affecting other parts of the body. These include cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, kidney disorders, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and even certain types of cancers. Without treatment, you are not only compromising your oral health; you are also risking your life, says the dentist!
Don’t allow a fear of treatment to get in the way of restoring good oral health and hygiene, urges the dentist! Think of it this way; if you accidentally cut your arm and it became infected, would you put off going to the hospital simply because you were scared of what the treatment would involve? Or would you put aside your fear and anxiety and go out of an even greater concern for developing gangrene? Treating a cut when it happens could involve nothing more than the application of some anti-septic cream and a few stitches. Ignoring it could lead to gangrene and amputation. This comparison may sound extreme, but the dentist has seen cases of terrible neglect that could easily have been treated using straight-forward, non-invasive techniques were it not identified early on.
A Final Note from the dentist
If you have any other questions or suspect that you may be suffering from some form or stage of periodontal disease, then do not hesitate to contact this qualified and experienced dentist.