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Dental Treatments. Gum disease; A silent epidemic

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´╗┐Gum disease The problem ?Most people have at least one case of mild gum disease during their lifetime. In the UK, it is estimated that 50-90% of the adult population has some degree of gum disease.? [1] Gum disease is a silent epidemic. The above statement describes a disease which isn?t seen as harmful to many people but the truth is, it is. Gum affects a large amount of the UK population and many people across the world. It is the biggest causation of tooth loss. This in itself is a big reason why Gum disease remains a problem for Dentists today. Another reason why Gum disease is a problem is that it is incurable. This means that there is no solution present today that eliminates Gum disease ? only improves the state of the condition. A large percent of the population have Gum disease and it affects all ages ? although it affects adults the most, it is the biggest cause of tooth loss and it is incurable. Tooth loss affects many people in many ways. One of which is embarrassment due to bad breathe. Another is more serious ? not being able to eat certain foods which can affect diet choices but mainly life expectancy. Gum disease is a problem in itself; however there are connections with Gum Disease and other diseases. Some theories explain that periodontal disease can lead to heart disease. This is because when oral bacteria enter the bloodstream, it can attach to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries and cause blood clots. This can lead to Coronary artery disease. The artery walls thicken due to the plaques. The plaques restrict blood flow and limit the amount of nutrients entering the heart. With a lack of oxygen and nutrients it can lead to Heart attacks. It is said that those with periodontal disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease then those without periodontal disease (link on phone). ...read more.


The second quote stats it is ?the most effective treatment strategy? for periodontal pockets greater than or equal to 5mm. This means that the treatment with the chip is effective. The quote also states that this is only true if the chip is replaced every three months. This quote also provides support for the chip as it states the findings from studies completed on the chip. The book specialises in Non-Surgical Periodontal treatment. This means the book is likely to be written with expertise from the authors as they specialise in this area of gum disease. The quotes support the PerioChip and also show that using the PerioChip reduces the depth of the periodontal pocket. ?It releases Chlorhexidine for seven to ten days to control plaque bacteria and as Chlorhexidine is not an antibiotic, there is no risk of antibiotic resistance developing with repeated use.? ?It takes less than 30 seconds for a dentist or hygienist to insert, with no specific training or instruments required. Once inserted the chip simply dissolves after several days in the periodontal pocket, so no return visit for removal is needed, and the patient's normal lifestyle, diet and oral hygiene regime are not affected.? [9] The first quote states that the PerioChip has ?no risk of antibiotic resistance?. This is a real benefit of the chip. This is because the PerioChip if efficient in eliminating oral bacteria in the periodontal pockets. Therefore it is fair to say the PerioChip is effective in doing its job therefore is a good adjunct to use with Scaling and Root planing. The second quote states how easy it is to use the PerioChip. The fact that the chip takes ?30 seconds for a dentist or hygienist to insert? shows that the Chip is designed easily to use. Not a lot of skill is required to insert the chip into the periodontal pocket. In addition, the PerioChip ?dissolves? meaning that a dentist or a hygienist do not need to remove the chip once it?s been used. ...read more.


This overcomes the risk of sensitive teeth as fluoride helps strengthen the tooth. The main drawback is Periodontal Disease isn?t curable. Although there are treatments to help reduce the effect of it, it remains incurable. In addition, dentists can only help with disease up to a certain extent. The treatment may be effective; however, managing the problem is mainly in the control of the patient. If the patient doesn?t commit to oral hygiene then the disease may worsen. Patients must be motivated on a daily basis to commit to oral hygiene if the disease is to be managed effectively. [12] Another solution involves a simpler method ? committing to oral hygiene. This is a simpler method to prevent gum disease. This solution involves seeing the dentist regularly, brushing teeth twice a day, flossing and upgrading to oral hygiene products such as using toothpaste with fluoride. Brushing twice a day helps remove bacteria from teeth and also prevents plaque forming. Flossing removes food pieces from the roots of the teeth which cannot be removed by brushing. It removes plaque which helps prevent gum disease or makes the condition of gum disease less harmful. Fluoride toothpaste is also essential for healthy gums and teeth. Fluoride in toothpaste helps strengthen the enamel of the tooth which is the outer most layer of the tooth. Also bacteria on the teeth produce acid, fluoride in toothpaste minimises the amount of acid produced by these bacterium. The fluoride in toothpaste works with saliva to build a strong enamel thus protecting the tooth from plaque and sugars. Fluoride in toothpaste prevents cavities forming, tooth loss and helps ensure the teeth and gums are healthy. [13] Another possible solution: In my opinion, I think that education is needed. The government should teach about dental hygiene in primary, secondary schools and in the workplace. It essential for the general public to know about Gum disease and its association with other illnesses or diseases. Many people do not know of the symptoms of gum disease and therefore educating the public would cater for this issue. ...read more.

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