Gum Disease

Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

Following Government guidelines, the surgery has now reopened. We are initially prioritising those with the most urgent dental needs, with a view to resume routine dental care as soon as we can.

We are seeing patients by appointment only, please continue to call us for advice and support.

 

Although our practice has reopened please note it will not be business as usual. The treatments you are offered may be different to those you received before, depending on staff and personal protection equipment ( PPE ) available. It will take some time before services return to what you previously experienced as normal. Please be patient with us while we work towards resuming normal dental services in a safe environment.

 

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

 

  • Our practice will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again at your appointment
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  • We have hand sanitiser that we will ask you to use when you enter the practice.
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  • We no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult  to clean and disinfect
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  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

 

We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

 

How you can help:

  • Please do not arrive without an appointment
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  • Please do not arrive early to the practice. Once you have arrived, please call the practice by phone      on 01992 462 043 and check in with reception. You should then wait outside the practice until called in by a nurse.
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  • Please limit the number of things you bring with you to your appointment. ONLY bring  necessary items.
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  • Please bring your own pen to sign any consent forms
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  • We may ask you to complete your medical history form at home and bring it in at your appointment. Please ensure all parts are completed and all medications are recorded on this form
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  • With the exception of children and patients with carers, patients should come alone
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  • Only one consenting adult will be able to escort a child.
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  • A face covering must be worn by anyone escorting a child or vulnerable adult into the building. This cannot be provided by the practice due to PPE shortages. All our PPE will be needed to treat our patients and protect staff and patients.
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  • A distance of at least 2 metres must be observed if another patient is present in the dental practice
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  • Payment should be made by card where possible and we will sometimes request this over the phone. If cash payment is to be made, please make sure you bring the cash in a plastic bag. Staff will not shake your hand
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  • If you show symptoms following appointment booking, you should contact the practice by phone for advise

 

The welfare of our staff and patients is extremely important to us moving into this next stage in providing your dental care.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back

 

The Team at Hoddesdon Dental Surgery

 

What is gum disease?  

Screening for gum disease forms an integral part of your routine examination.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal or gum disease is an infection affecting the tissues surrounding the teeth. These tissues include the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease is usually a slow, painless, progressive condition. Most adults with this disease are unaware they have it but if diagnosed and treated early the teeth can be saved.

In it’s early stages it affects the gum only and is called gingivitis. Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning.

This is reversible but if it progresses it begins to attack the bone which holds the tooth in it’s socket and is called periodontitis. This can be treated to stop further bone loss but if left untreated can result in loss of the tooth.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

The first sign is blood on the toothbrush or in the rinsing water when you clean your teeth. Your gums may also bleed when you are eating, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Your breath may also become unpleasant.

Causes of gum disease

  • Plaque
    All gum disease is caused by plaque. This is a white mass of bacteria which adheres to teeth, crowns, bridges, dentures and soft tissues. When plaque is not removed it irritates the gums causing them to become red, tender and bleed easily. Over time it hardens and is then known as tartar which requires removal by professional intervention. The constant irritation from tartar results in gums becoming detached from the roots allowing ‘pockets’ to form around the teeth. Bacteria in these pockets begin to destroy bone that holds the tooth in place which may result in the tooth becoming loose and eventually lost.
  • Smoking
    Smoking is another risk factor that increases the risk of gum disease.

    Smoking has many affects on oral health. It can cause an increase in plaque and tartar and cause staining. Smoking reduces the blood flow to the gums hence destroying all the supportive structures. This can lead to the gums receding, tooth movement and tooth loss.  Smoking will also cause furring of the tongue, increasing bad breadth. 

 

There are also a number of other host factors that can worsen periodontal disease such as diabetes mellitus, puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. The underlying cause is still plaque but these conditions can worsen your periodontal condition.

Management of gum disease