Pond Square Dental
Fear of the dentist can lead to serious dental health issues
Blog /Advice

Fear of the dentist can lead to serious dental health issues

Treatment of Severe Periodontitis for an Anxious Patient

Dental anxiety and phobia can be difficult at the best of times. Often it means that routine dental check ups are missed. As problems develop, the fear is re-enforced, the issue is often ignored, and progresses to become a significant.

Gum disease is so easily prevented, but once it has a foothold, it can be difficult to stop and maintain. Your gums will never fully recover, and once you have gum disease, you are always at a high risk of it quickly progressing again. Often gum disease is silent, causing few symptoms beyond perhaps minor bleeding that can be intermittent.

As the gum disease advances, the supporting architecture of the tooth is dismantled, supporting bone is removed, and the disease can accelerate very quickly. Teeth can start to move position, twisting, moving out of alignment, spaces start to appear, and the teeth will get longer. Infections will develop within the gums, causing a bad taste and smell due to the pus and bacteria, and teeth will loosen, and eating will start to become more and more difficult.

There is hope.

In the first instance, it is better to stop the gum disease from developing - regular dental check ups and visits to the hygienists, coupled with an excellent home oral hygiene routine will help. the frequency of attendance to the hygienist varies for individuals, from 3 months to 6 monthly.

If you have any of the symptoms of gum disease, a periodontist (dentist specialising in gums) can help. Detailed records are taken, and a treatment plan and maintenance program are set out. It is then in your hands to stop the disease from progressing again - stick to the maintenance program, step up your cleaning techniques, and attend the hygienist every 3 months and the periodontitis as required for reviews and treatment (as needed).

This 32 year old patient, who was a smoker, and had not attended the dentist for 15 years attended with severe Periodontitis of rapid progression and currently in an unstable condition. The patient was very nervous, and reported dental anxiety Level 9/10.

The approach used was based on the International Guidelines for the Clinical Management of Dental Phobia.

After a longer discussion the patient, the cause of the anxiety was determined, which, as is often the case, was due to a traumatic dental experience as a child.

Due to the understanding and rapport that had been built, the patient was able to complete the relatively complex treatment plan without sedation but just with a strong confidence after our initial consultation.

The patient's gum disease is now under control, and he is (almost) happy to come in for his regular maintenance.

Gum disease is linked to heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, Alzheimer's, and even cancer, and if you do fall ill, you may not be able to have your gum disease treated meaning you may lose many or all of your teeth.

If you need any more info, please contact the practice.

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