Gum disease: 10% of you are at high risk of losing your teeth!
DENTAL GUM DISEASE IN PRACTICE TODAY:
THE SIX QUESTIONS THAT REVEAL ALL.
How do you like statistics?
Most periodontists love them, that’s why we become
periodontists, it’s all the measuring stuff we do all day long and
some of us do complicated research into how it all works and
why it happens and what to do about it.
Me, I can take them or leave them (statistics, that is, not
perio…well you know what I mean) but there’s one that gets
me every time. Here it is: what proportion of the population is
susceptible to generalised destructive periodontitis? Well, if you
didn’t know, it’s around 10%.
Think of that; if you saw 20 adult patients yesterday, two of
them could very easily have their teeth fall out because of their
periodontal disease. Did you spot two yesterday? Or the day
before? And if you did, what did you do about it? And if you
didn’t, which one of them might sue you one day for failing to
diagnose? This is the fastest growing area of litigation against
Of course, you know all about probing and recording of
periodontal data and how to debride root surfaces etc but
that’s only useful if you know when to do it. So here are the six
questions you must ask every patient to pick out the ones that
really need your special periodontal care.
1. Do your gums bleed on brushing or overnight?
2. Are any of your teeth loose?
3. Can you chew everything you want to?
4. Do you have a bad taste or smell from your mouth?
5. Do you suff er from pain, swelling, gumboils or blisters?
6. Do you smoke?
DOES THIS APPLY TO YOU