Not many people think that health related malpractice lawsuits involve dental health professionals. However, dental malpractice has a significant impact on many people. As with any medical professional, dentists, periodontists, and oral surgeons can provide negligent care. When this occurs it is extremely important that you speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Gum disease is a health condition that many people do not take seriously. When it has been misdiagnosed, or diagnosis has been delayed, dental patients can suffer serious long-term and potentially painful consequences. Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums. These bacteria are the same bacteria that cause tooth decay. There are three stages of gum disease:
- Advanced Periodontitis
One symptom of periodontal disease is bleeding gums. As it progresses, the disease then causes the gums to recede from the teeth. Patients can also lose teeth and there may also be resorption of the jawbone. With the jawbone receding from the roots of the teeth, pockets can form in the gums and discharge pus.
Periodontal disease can be caused by:
- Ill-fitting restorations (fillings, crowns, veneers, or bridges).
- Irritation of the tissues by dental tartar that has not been removed by a dentist during cleanings.
- Failure of the dentist to take proper x-rays.
- Poor dental treatment.
- Poor oral hygiene.
During the early stages of gum disease, the most common problems that occur tend to be minor, such as:
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Discolored gums
- Sore gums
- Swollen gums
During the later stages of gum disease, the symptoms can become more severe. Major therapy or complicated dental reconstructed may be required. These more severe symptoms can include:
- Loose teeth
- Gum pain
- Gum recession
- Tooth decay below the gumline
- Tooth loss
- Tooth misalignment
- Spread of the infection
When gum disease is caught earlier, the easier it is to treat. A delayed or missed diagnosis can be bad for the dental wellness of the patient. If you were never informed by your long-term general dentist that you had progressive deterioration of your gums, and were not treated until the later stages of your gum disease, you will likely suffer loss of one or more teeth.
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