Is There a Cure for Aggressive Periodontitis?
Aggressive periodontitis is more common than a lot of people think, nevertheless many people are unaware of the symptoms and occurrence of this disease. The most obvious features of the disease include hasty attachment loss and bone obliteration and genetic aggregation of the teeth. This can result in very early tooth loss if not tackled in a timely and efficient manner. The diagnosis of the disease is similar for all patients, but the treatment can vary from person to person due to their different characteristics and the intensity of the disease. It is definitely curable and should be treated as early as possible in order to avoid any kind of severe loss of the teeth. Unfortunately, once it has reached the very advanced stages, the patient would usually have a lot of bone loss and once the bone has gone it cannot be regenerated. This does not however mean that the disease cannot be successfully treated and managed, often without the need for surgery.
It is possible to graft bone into the areas around the teeth by taking it from somewhere else in your body such as your hip or your ribs, but the problem with aggressive periodontitis is that the bone erodes away because of an exaggerated destructive response of your gums, and this excessive destructive process usually affects the grafted bone so it melts away as well.
However, as I said, even in extreme cases, all is not lost. Textbooks state that if you lose more than a 3rd of the bone around your teeth the teeth have a hopeless prognosis and need to be extracted. That is very often what a dentist will tell their patient because this is what they have been taught. And from a ‘text book’ point of view, he/she is right. This is where the services of a periodontal expert can reap dividends. As a periodontal specialist in North London, I have been treating very advanced cases of periodontal disease with bone loss for many years and in most cases the condition can be managed and treated in different ways and in some cases very successfully without any tooth loss at all!
Scaling and Root Planing Treatments
Aggressive periodontitis is a disease much like the high blood pressure and diabetes which, whilst unfortunately cannot be completely cured, can be controlled and managed exceptionally well with medical treatment and specialist after care. Depending on the time of diagnosis and the intensity of the disease, the treatment will vary accordingly. If the disease is diagnosed at an early stage, then your periodontal specialist will have several options for treatment – one of which is Scaling and Root Planing. This works by removing plaque and calculus in all the areas around the teeth and gums and also flattening the surface of the root. Scaling and Root Planing treatment helps significantly in getting rid of the mouth bacteria which is mostly just along the gum line of the teeth. This kind of treatment works best where there is early stage detection of the disease or for cases which have not developed viciously. If the situation is severe and it is not timely diagnosed, then many periodontal specialists go for other complex treatments where periodontal surgery is highly likely to be the treatment proposed.
Gum graft surgery
This is the preferred surgical treatment for Aggressive periodontitis as suggested by many periodontal experts. The surgery repairs the loss and also prevents any further damage or loss of the gum bones. Gum graft surgery is done to cover roots and encourage development of new gum tissues on the gum line where there is a shortage excessive gingival recession. In graft surgery for gums, the surgeon takes the gum tissues from any relevant part of your body (for example your hip or rib) or any other donor’s source to fill the exposed root of the teeth. This filling is done tooth by tooth. It can be done either for one tooth or several teeth as per the requirement and condition of the root under each tooth until the gum line is completely recovered, and the sensitivity is reduced. As stated above, however, the problem with aggressive periodontitis is that the bone erodes away because of an exaggerated destructive response of your gums, and this excessive destructive process usually affects the grafted bone so it melts away as well. This is why I always propose looking at non-surgical and far less invasive treatments where at all possible. I have developed a practice over 20 years specializing in exactly that, and now lecture extensively on the subject of non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease, including aggressive periodontitis. Read more about my published work.
In conclusion, Aggressive periodontitis can be a serious condition with a fairly grim prognosis if it is not caught and treated in a timely fashion. An early diagnosis of the disease involves far simpler treatment processes. Nevertheless, even severe or chronic conditions can sometimes be treated without the need for surgery.
Of course, your periodontal specialist is the one to consult for an individual diagnosis and prognosis of your condition.
I offer both telephone and face-to-face consultations and can work together with your own dentist to provide the best treatment plan for you. You can contact me here for further advice on periodontal treatment.
Take heart, even in severe cases of aggressive periodontitis, all is not lost 🙂
Take care and I hope to hear from you soon.