Periodontology deals with the supporting structures of the teeth, and conditions that affect them .The supporting tissues include the gingiva (gums), dental or alveolar bone and the periodontal ligament. Periodontal disease can take on many forms but is usually a result of a bacterial accumulation over time coupled with an inflammatory response which leads to destruction of the supporting bone around the teeth. Left untreated this disease leads to bone loss, progressive loosening and eventual loss of teeth.
Dr. Lochlann Walsh specializes in the diagnosis and treatment (surgical and non surgical) of these conditions as well as the placement and management of dental implants. Dr Walsh usually sees our referall patients in his Clontarf practice.
Q: Why do my gums bleed?
Healthy clean gums do not bleed so in general bleeding gums tell us where the problem is. Bacteria or broken down food etc will produce an inflammatory response from the gums if left unchecked. This is ‘a cry for help’. A visit to the dentist or hygienist is probably called for. With good regular brushing and flossing of the teeth and gums the bleeding issue is usually resolved.
Q: Why use dental floss?
Flossing cleans the parts of the teeth which can’t be reached by the bristles of your toothbrush. Teeth that are crowded have stagnation areas between them. These dead spaces are perfectly suited to anaerobic or smelly bacteria and these thrive if left undisturbed. This can lead to gum disease and bad breath. Flossing is the only effective way of disturbing and cleaning these areas and should be done before brushing every time.
Q: What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, a little swollen and to bleed easily especially with brushing or flossing. It is usually caused by inadequate or poor dental hygiene. It is completely reversible with professional help, hygienist instruction and good oral home care.
Q: What is periodontitis?
Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. Over time the sticky white bacterial layer on teeth (Plaque) can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums and stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the tissues and bone which support the teeth can be broken down and destroyed. The gums come away from the teeth forming ‘pockets’ or spaces which are difficult to clean and prone to infection. If left unchecked, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
A dental hygienist is a trained professional who specializes in dental care as an auxiliary to a dentist or periodontist. They provide monitoring and support for the patient in the maintenance of good oral health. The hygienist will gently but thoroughly remove all plaque, tartar and staining from the tooth surfaces and encourage a good understanding of how to maintain an effective routine of dental care at home. Our hygenists Sandra and Colette can give instruction on diet and prevention of decay, use of dental floss and a good brushing technique.
Should I bring my child to see the hygienist? It is a very good idea to bring your children to see a hygienist and these visits can be fun! From an early age the hygienist can ensure children develop a good brushing technique. Plaque disclosing tablets can be used to demonstrate how bacteria stick to the teeth so the child knows how best to clean their teeth and gums. The hygienist might also recommend and place protective fissure sealants on the permanent back teeth.
Q: How do I treat bad breath?
There can be a number of reasons why you might suffer from bad breath. Respiratory or digestive complaints can be at fault. However the most common cause is poor oral hygiene. A visit to the hygienist will be a great help in getting bad breath under control.
Ratoath Dental CentreThe Well Road,
Tel: 01 8256983