Chronic periodontitis ('gum disease') represents a major health problem in the UK. Surveys show that more than 50% of the population currently experience some degree of damage to bone or the soft tissues supporting the teeth.
Approximately 10-15% of the population will lose a significant number of teeth as a result of chronic periodontitis: the more susceptible the patient, the more rapidly the bone loss progresses.
In addition, around 1% of the population is susceptible to the aggressive forms of periodontitis. These patients can present with advanced levels of attachment (bone) loss and pocketing in their twenties or thirties.
Although many patients do not immediately link their symptoms with gum disease, other patients report concerns with bleeding gums, drifting or loose teeth, a lack of mouth freshness or discomfort when eating, all of which are associated with periodontitis.
Early diagnosis is important for periodontitis in order both to simplify treatment and improve prognosis.
Treatment of chronic periodontitis is highly successful in keeping teeth and improving both comfort and confidence.