A lecturer in the Department of Preventive Dentistry and Community Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital, Dr. Solomon Nwathor, has urged dentists to explore new ways of treating gum disease.
Nwathor said this in Lagos on Friday at an event organized by the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria to mark the annual Major General Sho-Silva Faculty Lecture by the Faculty of Family Dentistry, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria.
“This new way of treating gum disease involves special technology and cells. These cells are going to be stimulated to produce new periodontal tissues. The tissues produced in the laboratory will be placed in the periodontal pocket to encourage healing.
“Periodontal tissue engineering entails the way we can restore gums that have been lost due to disease. This disease can be as a result of not brushing your teeth properly or genetic factors that tend to predispose people to gum disease. Looking beyond the teeth alone, gum disease affects several parts of our lives. Gum disease has been known to cause erectile dysfunction and could prevent a woman from conceiving,” Nwathor said.
He lamented the lack of dentists in the country stating that all Local government areas need at least one family dentist.
“The numbers of dentists we have are not enough. Every local government area needs to have at least, one family dentist. And we have many local government areas in the country where there is no single dentist, which now leads to quacks calling themselves dentists,” Nwathor added.
The Head of clinical services of the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Dr. Chris Edeh, stated that most Nigerians ignore their tooth problem until it develops into an uncontrollable disease.
He said, “A large percentage of Nigerians have a dental problem without their knowledge and it silently eats them up to the point where it is not controllable anymore.”