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Periodontal Disease Claims

Undiagnosed or untreated gum disease. Click Here to Have a Free Case Assessment today or Read On, for more information.

Gum and Periodontal Disease Claims

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Any web page addressing the subject of “what is gum disease” will always be a bit of a compromise. There are many conditions that may be roughly described as gum disease but are related conditions. Each one has its own causes and its own “cure”. In most cases these conditions are relatively straightforward to deal with and they are unlikely to have a big impact on your oral health or indeed your wider health. In some cases though periodontal disease is present and if untreated a periodontal or gum disease claim may well be justified.

The good news then, is that in most cases, gum disease is temporary and is not without good dental treatment options.

However, it is also right and proper to state that, simple gum disease or “gingivitis” if not treated can develop into periodontitis. Periodontitis is a much more significant disease. Again left undiagnosed or untreated, it can result in the loss of bone material in your jaw, deterioration in your dental / oral health and the permanent loss of teeth.

Your ally in the fight against periodontal disease is your dentist. They should see the disease developing. They should give you clear advice about dental / oral health. They should take action to halt the disease and they should refer you to a specialist if necessary. Sadly sometimes, none of this happens…

What are Periodontal Disease Claims?

Generally, periodontal disease claims break down into 2 separate legal sections. First there is a breach of duty claim. That essentially is an allegation that the Dentist with responsibility for your dental health has not spotted or treated the disease properly. That is usually demonstrated by a review of the dental records, these records rarely show a long history of suitable advice and treatment and they always show a history of various restorations and dental extractions – none of which tipped off the dentist that there may be something else at stake. Frankly, it is often a combination of records and radiology (x-rays) that hang the dentist with regard to a poorly treated client.

What are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

If you have untreated periodontitis or other gum related condition, then you may also suffer repeated dental infection and abscess formation. You may have receding gums and loose teeth. You may have blood present in your rinsing after brushing and you may well have foul breath. Just developing the condition does not mean your dentist has opened themselves up to periodontal disease claims. These claims take years to develop as the damage from the disease takes hold and slowly impacts your periodontal health. However, it is worth checking with a Solicitor.


The second part of the periodontal disease claims, once a breach of dental duty has been found, is to compensate you for the historical damage that this lack of attention (dental misdiagnosis or failed diagnosis) has probably caused. Typically these injuries and losses can go back 10-20 years. They include things such as – lost teeth, repeated infections, dental abscesses and and the costs and pain associated with dental implants and root canal treatments.

The Damage that this Breach of Duty Causes…

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What Should a Dentist be Doing About Periodontal Disease?

​A dentist will perform a series of checks on our gum health every time that we go for a check up. this will involve probing the gums to test for its integrity. This probing results in a score for each section of our gums and gives the dentist an overall view of the health of gums and whether or not it is improving or deteriorating.  Whilst it is often an uncomfortable process to have your gums prodded about like this, it is a very positive thing to do and one that can have beneficial effects not just on your oral / dental health but on your overall health too.

This scoring and examination process  will enable the dentist to help us by providing suitable advice or with specialist cleaning etc and keep this may keep the disease at bay. However, if your dentist fails to spot the early indication of the disease,  it can lead to deterioration and ultimately, severe injury.  Periodontal disease, unless treated, can lead to tooth loss and to other conditions such as heart problems and systemic infection. If you believe that you have suffered or are suffering periodontal disease and your dentist has not picked up on this then you may have a periodontal disease claims assessment due. Get in contact there is no obligation at all.

are periodontal disease claims worth doing?

The British Periodontal Examination is frankly just the starting point for a Dental Surgeon who wants to keep an eye on  your gum health. Non Negligent Surgeons should also be considering regular bite wing radiography and if they have the facility a full OPG image of your mouth. They may even wish to consider specialist periodontal consultant referral.  From a Claims perspective of cause, Dental Solicitors will be on the look out for these things having been missed in your dental history. However, all dental claim clients should be aware that Dental Claims are not easily won, ultimately, there is a reliance that you the patient will have done everything you could to have avoided the disease, it is for this reason that Solicitors find the Courts are prepared to make awards that have been reduced if you have missed or refused treatment or you a regular smoker etc. These are issues often manipulated by Defendant Dental Lawyers. 

Does it matter that I smoke?

Yes. It always always always matters that you smoke. There is nothing about smoking that is of any good whatsoever. However, it will not invalidate any periodontal disease claims. It may, though, impact how much you get.

I cannnot remember who my dentist was?

Most people cannot remember who their dentist was even a few weeks after a visit. If you remember the surgery we are half way there. If you remember the town, we might be able to trace records. If you were a NHS patient then it is possible the NHS business authority (who pays most of your bills) may have a registration for you. Call us to find out.

All of my treatment was years ago is there a time limit on dental claims

Yes, there is typically a time limit but in periodontal claims that limit usually runs from the date of knowledge. You cannot be expected to know that the dental treatment you get today will impact your health in 20 years. You realistically need to speak to a specialist to know but dont let this time limit stuff put you off asking.

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Funding Your Claim

Law Med Panel members have a unique arrangement that means you will never pay more than 20% of your damages and nothing else. Guaranteed.

For Periodontal Disease Claims or any Dental Claim Call 01904-914-989

Nursing Negligence Example

Some examples of nursing negligence would be:

  • Failing to refer a patient who is suffering from an open wound or pressure sore that is not healing.
  • Failing to gaurd against pressure sores, ulcers and weeping wounds.
  • Failing to lift a patient safely leading to fractured bones which can go unnoticed or untreated
  • Keeping a patient on antibiotics for a urinary tract infection when the infection is not responding.
  • Not keeping a patient hydrated or not noticing that a patient is dehydrated or undernourished.
  • Administering the wrong medication or the wrong dose.
  • Not reffering a patient who is not responding to medication
  • Not taking a patients consent or ignoring a patients wishes
Nursing Negligence Consequences

The consequence of negligence for the patient is nearly always injury or harm, for the responsible nurse the consequences vary but could be:

  • The Nurse will likley have to be questioned and a statment taken by the Hospitals legal department.
  • The Nurse will likely have to given an account to thier manager or supervisor
  • They may face and investigation by the NHS Trust or the Hospital.
  • They may have to face an investigation by the Royal College of Nursing and Midwifery.
  • They may have no conseqeunces at all.

Ultimately much depends on the degree of negligence or harm that has been caused.

Nurse Negligence Wrongful Death

FATAL ACCIDENT INQUIRY INTO THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE DEATH OF MR JAMES MCNEILL [2010] FAI 50

DESCRIPTION

In terms of section 6(1)(a) of the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976, the Sheriff found that Mr James McNeil (DOB 14th September 1935) died at 08:30 hours on the 22nd of October 2008 at Belhaven Hospital, Dunbar. The cause of death was (i) bronchopneumonia; (ii) pressure sores on back, ischemic heart disease, and dementia.In 1989, Mr McNeill was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and his condition eventually deteriorated in 2007. On 18th April 2008 Mr McNeill was admitted to Lennel House Nursing Home, Coldstream; Lennel House was a nursing home owned and operated by Guardian Care Homes (UK) Ltd. On admission to Lennel House an Admission Assessment Form was completed by the duty staff nurse. The assessment covered, inter alia, the risk of pressure sores; Mr McNeill was assessed as being at high risk of developing pressure sores.


On 19th May 2008 two blood blisters were noticed on Mr McNeill’s sacral cleft. These were the first manifestations of the early stages of pressure sores. In the course of the following days the blisters were treated with creams and dressings. However, the area of the wound, which was measured and recorded daily, increased. By 30th May 2008 the blisters measured 3 x 1.5cm and 1 x 1cm and were recorded as being necrotic and producing an odour, signs consistent with infection. By 9th June 2008 the measures put in place produced no improvement and the odour from the wound was now described as offensive. On 11th June 2008 the districtnurse visited Lennel House by prior arrangement. The wound now measured 13 x 4.5cm and was discharging thick yellow puss. A hole had appeared in the sacral cleft from which fluid leaked. The districtnurse arranged for Mr McNeill to be examined by a GP which examination was conducted on 12th June 2008. As a result of this examination the GP arranged for Mr McNeill to be admitted to the Borders General Hospital on 12th June 2008 in order to obtain a surgical opinion.

On 13th June 2008 surgical debridement of Mr McNeill’s pressure sore wound was carried out. The operating surgeon considered the wound to be serious and described the operation as a “planned emergency”. In his experience of having carried out 12 or so pressure sore debridements over the years, this was described as the worst which he had encountered.Mr McNeill remained at Borders General Hospital until 24th September 2008 when he was transferred to Roodlands Hospital, Haddington. On 20th October 2008 Mr McNeill was transferred to Belhaven Hospital in Dunbar. At about 06:00 hours on Wednesday 22nd October 2008 nurses attended on Mr McNeill to administer medication, including morphine sulphate, and prepare him for a bed bath. After about 30 minutes, when in course of being bathed, Mr McNeill’s condition deteriorated and he expired in the presence of nursing staff.


The Sheriff noted that from the evidence there could be little doubt that Mr McNeill’s care at Lennel House would have benefitted from better and more promptly implemented care plans and risk assessments; from being cared for by nursing staff who had the advantage of better managerial support; better induction procedures; better training especially in respect of pressure sores and the care of the elderly; better dissemination of information regarding policies and procedures; better access to specialist equipment; and from allocated time for communication as between staff on different shifts.

Focusing on Mr McNeill’s development of pressure sores, the risk of these developing would almost certainly have been reduced with earlier provision of special mattresses, cushions and organised and recorded positional changing. The Sheriff concluded from the evidence that the latest date when Lennel house nursing staff ought to have contacted the district nurse, or general practitioner, regarding Mr McNeill’s pressure sore would have been 4th June 2008. However, the Sheriff noted that in the interim period, key staff had changed at the nursing home and that following the death of Mr McNeill, procedures had been improved radically. For these reasons, the Sheriff considered it inappropriate to make any findings under the Act in terms of section 6(c) and (d).

FATAL ACCIDENT ENQUIRY INTO THE DEATH OF NASRULLAH KHALID, SHERIFF KENNETH ROSS, DUMFRIES SHERIFF COURT, 9TH MARCH 2011

DESCRIPTION

In terms of section 6(1)(a) of the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976, the sheriff found that Nasrullah Khalid died within cell B/17 at H M Prison, Terregles Street, Dumfries on 23 November 2009 between the hours of 3.15pm and 4.55pm. In terms of section 6(1)(b), the cause of death was (a) Ischaemic Heart Disease (b) Coronary Artery Thrombosis and (c) Coronary Artery atherosclorosis. A formal determination was made under section 6(1)(c).


Background:
Mr. Khalid had suffered from a heart condition since 1996 when he had had a heart attack. The symptoms of his condition were stable angina, hypertension and atherosclerosis. For the three years prior to his death the deceased exercised regularly in Dumfries Prison gym. There was no medical reason why Mr. Khalid should not have participated in the exercise regime.


At about 1.50pm on 23rd November 2009 Mr. Khalid attended the prison gym as usual. About five minutes before the end of his routine the deceased experienced nausea and pains in the centre of his chest. He was examined by the duty nurse who concluded that he had suffered an angina attack. He was returned to his cell at 3.15pm and advised to rest and take his angina medication. At about 4.55pm Mr. Khalid was discovered lying on his bed with his eyes open and with vomit on his face. Officers commenced CPR and continued to do so until paramedics arrived about ten to fifteen minutes later. They took over the attempts to resuscitate Mr. Khalid which continued for a further twelve minutes. Throughout the procedure there was no response from Mr. Khalid. He was pronounced dead when the prison doctor arrived at 5.45pm.

Determination:

Under s.6(1)(c) the sheriff found that, in the examination of Mr. Khalid at the Prison gym, it should have been established if the chest pain of which he had complained had disappeared completely. In the absence of such a finding, the prison doctor should have been contacted and an ambulance called. However, to have done so would not have guaranteed Mr. Khalid’s survival. Nor would that survival have been a probability.

What is a community nurse?

Delivering care to the elderly, disabled and vulnerable patients who are unable to travel to a hospital or doctor’s surgery, community nurses are registered nurses who have undertaken degree level training as a specialist practitioner. This course focuses on four key aspects of nursing including clinical nursing, care and programme management, clinical practice development and clinical practice leadership.

Community nurse roles and responsibilities

A community nurse is responsible for performing many of the same duties as a district nurse. These include basic care (checking temperature, blood pressure and breathing), wound management, administering injections, setting up intravenous drips and assisting doctors with examinations and medical procedures. Community-based nurses are also able to provide vital information to clients, their families and carer/s, much in the same way as district nurses, while emergency support may also be required in cases when a patient is suffering cardiac arrest or a stroke. This demonstrates the many hats a community nurse must don in their line of care.

So what is the difference between community and district nurses?

In recent times, the terms district and community have become interchangeable as a way of describing areas of villages, towns and cities, meaning that there may be no difference between community and district nurses at all.

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How Does Gum Disease Start?

Periodontal disease (infection of the gum tissue and bones surrounding teeth) is an increasing health risk which will not go away by itself, but requires professional treatment.

What Is It?
Gum (periodontal) disease is an infection that is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless and develops slowly, a person may not be aware that the infection exists. It is caused by plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth – when you are eating. These bacteria create toxins that can eventually damage the gums and the bone surrounding the teeth.

Bleeding Gums Are Not Normal!
In the early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, the gums become red, swell, and bleed easily. The disease is still reversible at this stage, and can usually be eliminated by careful daily brushing and flossing. In the more advanced stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, the gums and bone that support the teeth become seriously damaged. If the disease is left untreated, it can eventually lead to loss of teeth.

What are the signs of gum disease?
Any of the following conditions may indicate the presence of gum disease, and a dentist or dental specialist called a periodontist should be consulted. If the gums:

  • bleed when brushing teeth
  • are red, swollen or tender
  • have pulled away from the teeth

Or if one of the following conditions is present:

  • bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • pus between teeth and gums
  • loose teeth
  • a change in the way the teeth fit together when biting
  • a change in the fit of partial dentures

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Periodontal Disease Claims and Gum Disease Info

Other Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Although bacterial plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, other risk factors can affect the health of gums and increase the chances of contracting the disease. Some of those factors include smoking, stress, certain medications, diabetes, poor nutrition, clenching or grinding teeth, hormonal fluctuations, and a genetic pre-disposition. Regular check-ups with a dentist and/or consultation with a periodontal specialist are especially important if any of these risk factors are present. These visits also assist in that it evidences your intentions to get your oral / dental health under control. More and more people are ignoring their health as part of an overall programme of fitness and wellness and this has impacts on you as a person. Ignoring the issue of periodontal disease for a moment. The problems associated with poor oral health can impact your overall resistance to infection, your ability to cope with stress and your self image. It can also if ignored have a depressive effect on your cardio vascular system leaving you to have greater risk of stroke, heart attack or respiratory diseases. A persons oral health is often the foundation stone for a good overall general health.

How to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease can be prevented by taking good care of teeth and by having regular dental checkups that include a periodontal examination. A little time invested in prevention of this disease can improve dental and general health and can help minimize dental expenses. Here are some suggestions to help keep teeth, gums and supporting bone structures healthy:

  • Brush teeth thoroughly twice a day. This removes the film of plaque (germs) from the teeth. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is in good condition and anti-plaque toothpaste. Rinsing will not remove the sticky bacterial plaque.
  • Clean between teeth every day. Cleaning between teeth with floss or interdental cleaners removes bacteria and food particles from between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Early gum disease can often be reversed by daily brushing and flossing.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Choose a variety of foods from the basic food groups, such as breads, cereals and other grain products; fruits; vegetables; meat, poultry and fish; and dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Limit between-meal snacks and candy. Avoid excessive use of sweetened soda pop.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. It is important to have regular dental checkups, which include a thorough periodontal exam. Professional cleaning is essential to prevent periodontal diseases. Once you have been treated for periodontal disease, these maintenance visits are especially important.
  • Avoid use of tobacco. Tobacco use can inflame gum tissue and aggravate existing periodontal disease.

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Treating Gum Disease

Periodontal Scaling: Once gum disease has begun to destroy the gum and bone around teeth, an ordinary cleaning will not be enough to stop the progress of the infection.

A procedure called periodontal scaling, which is more extensive and time-consuming than routine cleaning, becomes necessary. It removes plaque and tartar that are causing the infection below the gum line. Root planing smooths the root surfaces, which allows the gum tissue to heal and to reattach to the tooth.

Other Surgery: When deep pockets of infection persist after periodontal scaling, corrective surgery or other treatment may be needed. Surgical treatment is designed to correct defects by reshaping or by regenerating new, healthy bone and gums. It is not always effective but in most cases if caught in time the damage caused by periodontal disease and other gum / dental related problems can be overcome and even reversed.

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One Final Thing!

We would suggest that if you are contemplating instructing a Solicitor but you are a bit concerned about calling or emailing – for whatever reason, then write down every particular about what has happened to you. Put down dates and times and names of people involved. Then months from now when you change your mind and do contact a Solicitor – you will have the details. Many claims are never brought because the patients simply forget the details and are too embarrased to contact a lawyer to discuss. Get them on paper and if you never use them no harm done.

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