As mentioned before about my mum’s gum problem (diagnosed as Chronic Periodontitis), it’s really causing her a lot of discomfort and unable to take in solid food. She’s experiencing headaches and migraines that normally won’t go away even with panadols. So, I know she’s really dying for a proper fix soon. We have been trying to look and ask around for help for months.
Within PG, we are so lacking of Periodontist that we barely have any! The last we ever heard of was this periodontist who would do a clinical visit at this govt dental clinic at Perak Road every few months. She’s famous for treating periodontal diseases. But problem is, this is so common amongst us that there are hundreds of patients that would swarm the clinic and wait. To make a proper appointment, you must get a referral. And even so, you have to wait for months.. and by months…it literally means quarters! Cos she doesn’t come every month. Hence, this is not entirely a favored option unless close to none (which is pretty much the case already!). There are a few renown periodontists in KL at the moment but we were told not all are really as they are known for. That aside, mum’s not too keen on traveling back & fro to the city since typically it takes a few (if not many) treatments before you can be entirely free from the problem.
Speaking of being common, I’m beginning to worry that I might also have similar issues. Gum diseases don’t just happen to those who don’t brush their teeth. You may be doing what you think is correct but it just may not be sufficient. As I continue to read about periodontal diseases, I begin to worry I might just carry some (if not all yet) symptoms. Below are just some of them (taken from Wiki)
- Redness or bleeding of gums while brushing teeth, using dental floss or biting into hard food (e.g. apples) (though this may occur even in gingivitis, where there is no attachment loss) — Yes for me
- Gum swelling that recurs — Yes, sometimes my dentist tells me that
- Halitosis, or bad breath, and a persistent metallic taste in the mouth — So far no one has really complained about it *gulp*
- Gingival recession, resulting in apparent lengthening of teeth. (This may also be caused by heavy handed brushing or with a stiff tooth brush.) — Nope *phew*
- Deep pockets between the teeth and the gums (pockets are sites where the attachment has been gradually destroyed by collagen-destroying enzymes, known as collagenases) — Not entirely sure how this looks like
- Loose teeth, in the later stages (though this may occur for other reasons as well) — I always have nightmare of this and hence dunno if I sometimes imagined i have loose teeth or it’s for real *gulp big time*
If a proper certified periodontist is available, you can generally go for what they call an scaling and root planing (SRP) that really goes into the gums and do a thorough scaling and cleaning. With several of such treatments, sometimes can relieve and heal periodontal problems. But if it’s severe, this may not help entirely. I think there are some other surgical treatments available..but I honestly don’t know if these options are all available in this country. I was told that generally, people just opt to have their teeth extracted…sounds easy & fast rite? But it’s a gum disease. Which means even if you extract the affected teeth (or tooth) now, the disease might still spread on. Hence, in the past where health system is not exactly that established (esp in the 3rd world countries), you’ll find people losing all their teeth much earlier than expected. That’s…the “easy” way out.. *major gulping*
Having said so, please…be aware of your dental hygiene, intake of nutrients. Lacking in any of these might just put your dental health in danger. If you are used to flossing, keep it up! If you use mouth rinse… KEEP IT UP! Because flossing can’t reach the inner gum areas hence mouth rinse can potentially help reduce the risk. This is one hell of a thing that I cannot find the courage to try! *sobs*
Hope this serves as a community service reminder.
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