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Patients — Prevention

How can you prevent periodontitis?
You must work in conjunction with your dentist. You also must work to prevent periodontitis becoming serious by developing thorough dental hygiene at home.
It can be substantially reduced by a low sugar diet, brushing your teeth thoroughly after every meal and by daily use of toothpicks and dental floss.
Nevertheless, periodontitis can persist if you do not have plaque, tartar and bacteria removed regularly by your dentist or dental surgeon.
Regular check-ups at the dentist (at least twice a year) are advisable and will ensure symptoms are identified early.

How should you work with your dentist on prevention?
It is hard to remove plaque, tartar and bacteria yourself. Tartar is a hard, calcium-containing bacterial deposit on the surface of the teeth, and the bacteria thrive on it. Tartar occurs especially along the edges of the gums and, in periodontitis, even on the roots of your teeth.
Your dentist or dental surgeon should frequently clean right down into the gum pockets.
Having your teeth regularly cleaned is very important in preventing periodontitis, and your dentist should also remove tartar regularly.
Traditional treatment using a curette can be very painful and causes a lot of bleeding. In such cases, treatment is often carried out under a local anaesthesic.
In countries where effective prevention of periodontitis is not carried out, many people loose their teeth at an early age.

Treatment of advanced periodontitis?
In cases where periodontitis is so advanced that it is not enough to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth, the inflamed gum has to be cut away. The traditional operation using a scalpel means that the patient is given anaesthetic and receives stitches to treat the wound. Typically there is a lot of pain after this treatment and the patient has to return to the dentist to have the stitches removed. This is painful and there is a high risk that the wound may become infected. Because traditional treatments are known to be painful patients often delay treatment, which only compounds the problem.