25th September 2010
This article appeared in the 'Mail On Sunday', Sunday edition of he 'DailyMail'.
The 5-hour treatment that can banish gum disease - and straighten teeth
By Eileen Fairweather
Infection had caused Rosemarie Holzhauer's teeth to separate and protrude
Smiles better: The procedure helped realign Rosemarie's front teeth
Gum disease, the primary cause of tooth loss, affects up to 50 per cent of the population with often irreversible consequences.
signs of infection are swollen or bleeding gums, bad breath and
sensitivity. Known as gingivitis, if caught early the condition is
easily treated with professional cleaning.
in serious cases, the gums and underlying ligaments can become
infected. This condition, periodontitis, may result in the teeth moving
out of alignment. It can attack without symptoms and, despite careful
oral hygiene, erode the bone supporting teeth and cause gums to recede.
But now, a remarkable treatment aimed at chronic sufferers is being pioneered by dentists at The Hale Clinic in Central London.
is the result of pockets developing between the tooth roots and gum,
within which minuscule food particles become trapped and bacteria
usually fight periodontitis through teeth scaling and root planing,
using metal scrapers to reach the roots, remove sticky yellow tartar -
plaque that has hardened on the teeth, encouraging bacterial growth -
and smooth the irregular surfaces to which bacteria cling. This can
often involve cutting the gums.
treatment is to clean one quarter at a time - most patients are
unhappy about longer sessions which involve anaesthetising the entire
mouth. The process can take a month and can allow bacteria to reinfect
cleaned areas between appointments.
Continued flare-ups mean extractions are the only option.
new procedure, called BOST - Bone One Session Treatment - involves
the mouth being cleaned in one session, lasting four to five hours.
clinic dentist Dr Yvan Micholt says: 'We use a gentle gum-stretching
technique to reach the root surfaces. Infected tissue is spongier and
elastic, so it is possible to gently push it back manually using tiny
scoop-shaped instruments known as curettes. The gum can then be
stretched just like skin, allowing us to cleanse the infected tooth
We scale and rootplane-every
square millimetre of every tooth and root, as deep as any pocket
reaches. A thin layer of dentin, the material that cements the tooth
into the gum, which will have been colonised by the bacteria and
impregnated with their destructive enzymes, is scraped from the root
surface. This regrows.'
BOST's success also
depends on patients maintaining a simple, painless daily hygiene regime
afterwards, using an AirPerio Kit - a plastic handle called a
perio-aid which is held like a pencil, and a set of disposable hygienic
wooden points called aeros that fit into the end. The aero is slim
enough to be painlessly pushed up into the gums to clean underneath.
stops bacterial growth by allowing oxygen to reach under the gums.
Bacteria can only thrive in the absence of oxygen,' says Dr Micholt.
two per cent of patients have repeat infections, he claims. 'We often
see patients who have been advised by several dentists to have multiple
extractions, and we save their teeth,' says Dr Micholt.
'Of course, some problems can be so severe that extraction is the only option. But we prefer to give each tooth its chance.'
Holzhauer, 48, a medical administrator and mother of two from West
London, underwent BOST in June. She admits missing hygienist
appointments when her children were young, but in later years 'I flossed
if I just looked at food'.
However, as Dr
Micholt says: 'Gum disease can run in families, meaning that almost no
matter what a patient does, or how much they clean, they will still
Indeed, Rosemarie's sister also had periodontitis and credits BOST, which she had five years ago, with saving her teeth.
In Rosemarie's case, infection had caused her teeth to separate and protrude.
'I had to do something. My gums didn't bleed and weren't sensitive, but they had started to recede,' she says.
A conventional practitioner had advised her to have up to ten teeth removed.
my sister's teeth and gums are now fine and her dentist admits that he
is stunned by her recovery,' says Rosemarie. 'When I found a
practitioner in London, I booked myself in.'
wary of a half-day dental session, Rosemarie was surprised at how easy
it was. 'The treatment was carried out while I lay on a warm waterbed.
The dentist was so gentle it didn't even hurt when he injected me with
'I was given a break whenever I
needed one and the anaesthetic meant I didn't feel any pain, just a few
moments of slight discomfort. I closed my eyes and floated off.
mouth felt a bit sensitive afterwards but I was able to eat soup and
ice cream for supper that night and I felt back to normal the next day.'
About 3,000 people worldwide have had BOST, and the British Dental Association has cautiously welcomed it.
The treatment costs up to £5,000 but Rosemarie is thrilled with the results.
Micholt fitted a splint - a small wire - to the back of my teeth to
keep them in place so they didn't wobble or stick out. I have no gaps,
and I feel great.
A safer, better, less invasive, less expensive, health conscious alternative to implants: keeping your own teeth and gums healthy.
THREE STEPS PERIO
- Bacterial DNA Testing
- BOST bone treatment
- Aerobic Oral Hygiene
for long term health.
The combination of these three steps leads to predictable results, we see that it is possible to restore a healthy condition.
This is achieved by creating the right circumstances which allow our body to do the healing.
Once a healthy condition is restored, the New Oral Hygiene helps you to keep it healthy for years to come.
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