There is an old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Does this apply to periodontal disease?
Absolutely not. Because periodontal disease is generally not painful it is often detected too late. Go to your dentist and ask him or her for a referral or a full periodontal evaluation. Alternately seek expert help yourself if you have any doubt.
Does periodontal treatment hurt?
No. Not if it is skilfully performed. There are instances where we recommend that patients take medication, either an anti-inflammatory or painkillers, immediately following treatment to alleviate pain and discomfort.
Is it expensive?
This depends on your individual perception and values. Many comparisons can be made in terms of relative worth. The decision is very personal.
What is a full periodontal evaluation?
International standards are:
- Medical history and dental history
- Full mouth charting and tooth by tooth evaluation
- Full mouth X-Rays where every tooth can be clearly seen
- Often colour images to monitor changes in the gum shape and position
- Sometimes additional records such as study models, CT scan
Do I need a referral to see a periodontist?
No. You do not need a referral to see a periodontist, you can contact our receptionists for a consultation appointment.
Can periodontal disease affect my health?
Researchers have found that pregnant women with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to have a premature baby, or a baby with a low birth weight, than a woman with a healthy mouth.
There are also other interactions between periodontal disease and your health, such as diabetes. For more information consult your dentist or a periodontist.
Does smoking affect my gum and supporting bone?
YES, smoking is a risk factor in periodontal disease. People who smoke up to 10 cigarettes a day are 3 times more likely to get periodontal disease. Those who smoke more than one half pack a day are 5 times more likely to develop periodontal disease. Smoking affects gum blood vessels and impairs the body’s defense mechanism.
If you want to stop smoking, there area number of options available to you. You can call Quitline 0800 778 778 or visit their website: www.quit.org.nz
There is also a web-based resource to help you give up: www.smokestop.co.nz/smokestop
There are several drug based programs, you should discuss this with your doctor. You can look at the website for Champix, one of the drugs available: www.champix.co.nz
You can read Allen Carr’s book “The Easyway to Stop Smoking” or visit his website: www.quitsmoking.co.nz
How can I learn more?
The best site for information is the website of the AAP (American Academy of Periodontology): Visit this website
There are other associations that have information in different languages including Chinese: Visit this website
Can you provide information in other languages?
Yes. We can supply information on Periodontal Disease and Dental Implants in other languages including Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. Please contact us for more details.