What is Periodontal Disease and Why Can a Failure to Diagnose Be Very Serious Dental Malpractice

Minnesota Dental Malpractice Alert: Failure to Diagnose Periodontal Disease 

Most people do not think of dental malpractice when they hear medical malpractice.  But dental malpractice can be both very painful and very costly to a victim.  One of the most common errors dentists make is failing to treat periodontal disease properly, and failing to diagnose periodontal disease.


This negligent omission can actually result in very serious health complications, cause extreme pain and suffering, and even result in permanent disability or nerve damage.  In rare instances, victims of periodontal disease can even die from their condition if bacterial infections spread to their blood and result in sepsis.


What is Periodontal Disease?

Most people do not even know what periodontal disease is, even though it can be hurting or even killing them.  But most people do know about gingivitis, which is the bacterial infection causing inflammation of the gums.  This is when the gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily—especially when you brush your teeth.  This can become painful but is treatable.


When gingivitis is not treated, it can result in periodontal disease.  This is a much more difficult to treat condition which is worse than gingivitis.  Periodontal disease is an infection of the structures around the teeth in your mouth caused by bacteria.  This primarily means the gums, but also includes the roots of your teeth (and their covering) and even the bones in your mouth.


Periodontal disease causes the gums to recede and to form “pockets” which become infected.   This release toxins and other poisons into your mouth causing damage to your gums, teeth, and jawbone.  The body will fight the bacteria with enzymes which further cause damage to the vital structures in your mouth.  As a result, you will lose your teeth and may even have a facial bone infection requiring part of your facial bones to be removed.  The pain and suffering is intense, debilitating, and permanent.


Damages Caused by Periodontal Disease

As horrible as periodontal disease is, the good news is that it is very treatable.  When dentists and healthcare professionals identify gingivitis, it can quickly be treated with something as simple as a medicated mouthwash.  Early periodontal disease can also be treated quickly with more powerful mouthwashes and antibiotics, as well as a thorough dental cleaning called scaling.  Dentists should monitor pocketing to determine the depth of the gum recision to know when to use more powerful treatment.


But when dentists fail to recognize the signs of periodontal disease, victims of this type of Minnesota dental malpractice could suffer the following injuries including:

  • Loss of teeth;
  • Loss of gums;
  • Need to extensive dental treatment such as root canals, extractions, crowns, bridges, and implants;
  • Cranial nerve injuries, including numbness, pins and needles, and other tingling;
  • Permanent loss of taste or smell;
  • Pain with chewing or even talking;
  • Loss of bone;
  • Need for bone and tissue grafts;
  • Need for “flap surgery” which cuts the gums back to remove tarter;
  • Massive infection;
  • Sepsis;
  • Increased risk of heart problems such as heart attack or stroke;
  • Wrongful death; and
  • Many other types of injuries.


Failing to Diagnose Periodontal Disease is Very Serious Minnesota Dental Malpractice


If you or a loved one have been injured due to the dental malpractice of a healthcare provider such as a dentist, hygienists, doctor, nurse, hospital, or other health care service professional, call Kuhlman Law, LLC for a FREE consultation by dialing (612) 444-3374 to learn what your rights to compensation may be.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough review of your case and advise you whether there may have been a serious medical mistake causing your injury.   There is no risk, and you do not owe us money unless we win your case.

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