Periodontal Disease – Part 2

This is part 2 of Periodontal Disease oral health series. Click to view the Periodontal Disease – Part 1 article.

Can gingivitis be treated?

Yes. Gingivitis can be treated relatively easily with very good results.

Your dentist or hygienist will ensure your teeth are free from tartar and show you how to clean your teeth properly.

After treatment, thorough cleaning twice a day will ensure that your gums will stay firm and healthy.

Can periodontitis be treated?

Yes. Treatment will depend on how far the damage to the supporting tissues has gone.

Your dentist or hygienist will remove any deposits such as tartar (calculus) or plaque, from pockets around affected teeth.

Essex Ilford - Clayhall Dental

Can gingivitis and periodontitis recur?

Yes. If you go back to your old teeth cleaning habits the problem can return. That is why it is important that you brush your teeth thoroughly twice daily using toothbrush and floss. Your dental professional will advise you on which toothbrush and toothpaste to use.

Interdental cleaning requires specific tools

In addition to regular tooth brushing dental professionals may recommend aids such as floss or interdental toothbrushes for cleaning the spaces between teeth.

Dental floss

Essex Ilford - Clayhall DentalFloss is most effective for narrow interdental spaces. It will be more suitable for younger people who have narrower interdental spaces.

Interdental brushes

Interdental brushes allow thorough cleaning of interdental spaces. They can clean efficiently between the teeth and are adapted for wider spaces, which make them suitable for older people.Essex Ilford - Clayhall Dental

Smile with confidence!

A smile can tell a lot about your personality, mood, and honesty. But most noticeably, your oral health.

Everyday care routines are essential for maintaining good oral health. A proper toothbrush and the right toothpaste are the basic tools you need to keep your teeth and gums healthy for life.

This leaflet gives you an easy-to-understand insight into the workings of your teeth and how you, together with your dental professional, can help maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Essex Ilford - Clayhall Dental

Periodontal Disease – Part 1

What is a tooth?

Teeth consist of a crown and root, which are formed by three structures; enamel, dentine, and pulp.Periodontal Disease gingivitis - Essex Ilford - Clayhall Dental

  • Enamel covers the crown and is the hardest tissue in the body
  • Dentine is the major part of the tooth
  • Pulp contains nerves and blood vessels

The root of each tooth is attached to the jaw bone. The bone is covered by soft gum tissue, which forms a cuff around the neck of the tooth.

What are Interdental spaces?

Interdental spaces are the areas between the teeth.

Periodontal Disease gingivitis - Essex Ilford - Clayhall Dental

What is plaque?

Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the tooth surface. Plaque is responsible for the two most common oral diseases; tooth decay and gum disease.Periodontal Disease gingivitis - Essex Ilford - Clayhall Dental

The mouth contains millions of bacteria; they stick to the surface of your teeth and quickly multiply to form plaque.

What is tartar?

Periodontal Disease gingivitis - Essex Ilford - Clayhall DentalTartar (calculus) is formed when calcium in the saliva combine with plaque to make it hard. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by your dentist or hygienist.

Regular, effective plaque removal is the best way to prevent build-up of tartar.

What is periodontal disease?

The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis and is reversible. If not treated gingivitis can develop into periodontitis.Periodontal Disease gingivitis - Essex Ilford - Clayhall Dental

Periodontal disease is characterised by inflammation of the tissues supporting the teeth. If plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, periodontal disease develops.

What are the signs of periodontal disease?

Periodontal Disease gingivitis - Essex Ilford - Clayhall DentalPeriodontal disease may go unnoticed until it is quite advanced.

However, most people will notice some of the following signs:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste
  • Teeth drifting apart
  • Loose teeth

A classic sign of gingivitis is when gums bleed during brushing and this is often the first indication of periodontal disease.

In Periodontal Disease – Part 2 we will look at:

  • Can gingivitis be treated?
  • Can periodontitis be treated?
  • Can gingivitis and periodontitis recur?
  • Interdental cleaning requires specific tools
  • Dental floss
  • Interdental brushes

Plaque and Periodontal Disease

What you should know and what you can do about Plaque and Periodontal Disease.

This is a series of articles that explains how you and your dentist or hygienist can work together to help prevent plaque and periodontal diseases. This is the first article in a series on Periodontal Disease. To view the other articles in the series click the link below to view them:

Periodontal Disease – Part 1

Periodontal Disease – Part 2

What is a tooth?

Teeth consist of a crown and root, which are formed by three elements; enamel, dentine, and pulp. Essex Ilford - Clayhall Dental

  • Enamel covers the crown and is the hardest tissue in the body
  • Dentine is the major part of the tooth
  • Pulp contains nerves and blood vessels

How are teeth attached to the jaws?Essex Ilford - Clayhall Dental

Each tooth has a root which is embedded in the jaw bone. The root is anchored to the bone by many tiny fibres.

The jaw bone is covered by soft gum tissue, which acts like a cuff around the neck of the tooth.

What is plaque?Essex Ilford - Clayhall Dental

The mouth contains millions of bacteria; they stick to the surface of your teeth and quickly multiply to form plaque.

Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the tooth surface.

Plaque is responsible for the two most common oral diseases; tooth decay and gum disease.

What is tartar?Essex Ilford - Clayhall Dental

Tartar (calculus) is formed when minerals, such as calcium, in the saliva combine with plaque to make it hard. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by your dentist or hygienist.

Regular, effective plaque removal is the best way to prevent build-up of tartar.

What are the early signs of periodontal diseases?

Periodontal disease can often go unnoticed until it is quite  advanced. However, most people will notice signs like red, swollen gums; bleeding gums and bad breath.

A classic sign of gingivitis is when gums bleed during brushing and this is often the first indication of periodontal disease people notice.

Root Canal Treatment Fact Sheet – Part 2

This is Part 2 of the Root Canal Treatment Fact Sheet. In Root Canal Treatment Fact Sheet – Part 1 we covered

  • Root canal therapy
  • Why is root canal therapy necessary?
  • What are the alternatives to root canal therapy?
  • The treatment

Deciding on treatment

Root canal therapy is often the only way to repair your tooth when the pulp has been severely damaged.  The success of root canal depends on a number of different factors and can vary considerably.  For example the success rate of a first time root canal treatment is up to 98%; whereas if the root canal treatment has been carried out before the success rate is less than 80%.

Complications are unexpected problems that can occur during or after the procedure.  Most people are not affected and they are quite rare.

In rare circumstances the complications of root canal therapy include:

  • It is possible for a bit of an instrument to break in your root canal.  Since we use new instruments for each patient and they are used only once, the chances of this occurring are very slim.  In most cases it can be taken out again or bypassed.  The files are titanium based (inert metal, like any implant material) and they do not have any side effects if left in your tooth.
  • Infection due to a canal not being cleaned or filled at all due to complex anatomy.
  • Certain bacteria may not respond to root canal therapy, so it may fail.

What to expect after root canal therapy

If you are being treated over more than one visit, it is advisable that you avoid chewing or biting down on the tooth, especially on hard foods, until your treatment has been completed.

When your treatment is finished you should not feel any pain in your tooth but it may feel quite sore as if it is bruised for a couple of weeks or even start to be uncomfortable after several days.  Painkillers such as those you would normally take for a headache should relieve any discomfort.  Alternating Ibuprofen (400 mg) with Paracetamol (1g) every 4 hours is usually very effective.  The intensity of the discomfort should start to decrease.  Please ensure that you arrange a follow-up appointment with your dentist in order to replace the top temporary dressing with a new filling or a crown on the tooth.  Failure to seal the tooth permanently in time could jeopardise the success of your root canal treatment.  If you feel that your post-treatment discomfort is increasing or you notice a swelling of the area, please do not hesitate to contact the surgery for advice.

If you follow the recommended instructions and look after the tooth along with the other teeth, a root filled tooth should continue to function very well for many years.

I hope this explanation has sufficiently answered most of your questions.  If you like more information or would like to discuss any issues further please contact the surgery and we will try our best to assist you with your enquiry.

Root Canal Treatment – Part 1

Root canal therapy (also known as endodontics) is the treatment involving the removal of blood vessels and nerves from a tooth which may be infected and/or damaged.  It may also be required to remove a “live” nerve from a tooth (sometimes known as “elective root canal therapy).  Root canal infection can be caused by a number of factors including decay, injury and possibly also gum disease.  Root canal therapy may be the only way to repair your tooth if it has been badly damaged by infection.

Why is root canal therapy necessary?

Your teeth have a core of blood vessels and nerves at their centre.  This living tissue is called the pulp and is in a space called the root canal.  The number of root canals in each tooth varies depending on how far back it is in your mouth.  Front teeth often have one root canal, while back teeth may have three or more.  If your tooth is injured or has deep decay, the pulp can be damaged and the blood vessels may die.  A “dead” tooth is likely to get infected.  Without treatment, a dental abscess (collection of pus) can form as the bacteria multiply and are forced beyond the end of the root.  As the collection of pus is trying to expand within the bone, the tooth may rise slightly out of its socket and feel tender when you bit down.

If left untreated, the infection may spread to the nerves and surrounding tissues and cause nausea, fever and difficulty in swallowing.

What are the alternatives to root canal therapy?

Once the nerve of the tooth is infected or damaged, root canal treatment becomes the only means of retaining the tooth.  Antibiotics will only treat the effects of the problem and not the cause; therefore, they are only a temporary solution.  However, if the tooth is symptom free, it can be left untreated if preferred, at the risk of future pain and possibly loss of the tooth.  If your tooth is seriously damaged by decay or injury, or the support of the tooth is compromised by gum disease, then it may be advisable to extract the tooth.  The tooth can then be replaced by means of a denture, bridge or dental implant.  In some cases the tooth may not be replaced at all.

The treatment

The diagnosis will be made on the basis of your dental history, clinical examination and dental X-ray(s). The treatment is carried out under local anaesthetic.  In certain instances, a sheet of thin plastic called a rubber dam (which is held on with a metal clamp) is paced over your tooth to separate it from the rest of your mouth.  This helps to keep the tooth dry and to stop bacteria from your saliva getting onto the root being treated.  Most patients find the rubber dam comfortable.  If the tooth is in an accessible area, isolation of the tooth can be achieved with cotton wool rolls.

At the first appointment, the nerve space of the tooth is accessed through a small opening in the biting surface of the tooth (even if the tooth is covered by a crown or bridge).  With the aid of magnification and a series of fine files, canal(s) are located.  At the second appointment, the space in your canal(s) created by cleaning out the pulp will be filled using a rubber like substance called gutta percha.  In very simple cases the root canal treatment can be carried out in a single visit.  This permanent root filling will be sealed with a temporary top dressing, ready for your dentist to place a new filling.  It is recommend that the molars and premolars (back teeth) should be covered by a crown if they are not already so.

In Root Canal Treatment Fact Sheet – Part 2 we will discuss “Deciding on the treatment” and “What to expect after root canal therapy”.

Welcome to our website

Welcome to Clayhall Dental Care website. Our new website is live! Please feel free to look around at the various services we offer. We offer various cosmetic services such as teeth whitening, dental implants and bridges. We also offer general dentistry services and are taking on NHS patients. Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us on 0208 550 2777 or use the contact form to email us.

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