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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…
What Should a Dentist be Doing About Periodontal Disease?
are periodontal disease claims worth doing?
Does it matter that I smoke?
I cannnot remember who my dentist was?
All of my treatment was years ago is there a time limit on dental claims
Funding Your Claim
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For Periodontal Disease Claims or any Dental Claim Call 01904-914-989
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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.
- NHS gum disease pages
- Mayo Clinic Periodontal Health Pages
- Bupa Gum disease pages
- Dental Implant Claims
- Funding a Dental Claim
The Law Med Medical Panel is an unincorporated association its members are clinical negligence accredited specialists.
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