We’re firm believers in the saying ‘prevention is better than cure’, despite this, sometimes a cure is the only way to return to adequate oral health. Our team of experts are on hand to provide a comprehensive range of advanced dental treatments, when necessary.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease is a disease affecting the supporting structures and tissues around a tooth. These tissues are keeping the teeth in place and gum disease is caused by bacterial plaque. Dental plaque microbes produce a variety of toxins, antigens and acids that challenge the immune system of every individual. Throughout your lifetime there is usually a harmony between the host and the bacterial flora in the mouth however there are cases where the composition of dental plaque changes or the immune defense mechanisms of the individual are no longer able to cope with the bacterial challenge.
Some individuals are more susceptible than others. Smoking, stress and diabetes are factors that are thought to hamper the immune response. When this happens, oral tissues in contact with bacterial plaque become infected. The first tissues to become infected are the gums, leading to a condition commonly known as gingivitis. If left untreated, destruction of local tissues would lead to the establishment of a periodontal pocket between the gum and the tooth. Microbial flora within the pocket will now become more virulent, and chronic presence of this flora can lead to loss of tissue attachment around the tooth, affecting the bone as well as the gums. This condition is called periodontitis or gum disease.
Endodontic therapy or root canal treatment is a sequence of treatment for the infected pulp of a tooth, which results in the elimination of infection and the protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion. Performed well, root fillings can often be the difference between loosing or keeping a tooth.
If you have an infection in your body your immune system, transported in your blood, will be drawn to the area where bacteria that have caused the infection can be destroyed and removed. The unique problem with infections of the root canals is that the blood vessels supplying the pulpal tissues have died. Therefore, as there is no blood supply into the root canal, there is also no immune system. This allows a comfortable place for bacteria to reside, safe from the bodies’ immune system that is trying to remove them.
By having the root canal treatment this is effectively doing your bodies’ work for you, as it cleans out all of the bacteria preventing any more coming in. This allows the body to then heal the tissues surrounding the tooth that have been damaged by the inflammation caused by the infection.
Sometimes it may not be possible to treat a tooth or teeth and the only solution is to perform an extraction. Extractions are usually a straightforward process. However, in some cases, a surgical extraction is necessary. A tooth that has not yet broken through the gum line or a tooth that isn’t fully developed would require a surgical extraction. Similarly, teeth that have been broken, have eroded down to the gum line or with long, curved roots would need to be extracted surgically. In most cases, a small incision on the gum is made to remove the tooth and stitches are provided to help with the healing process.
Every patient’s case will be different, so without a prior consultation, it isn’t possible to know what treatment is required. If you know you need a dental health problem treated, please contact us today to arrange an appointment where we can assess your situation, before recommending the appropriate treatment options.