Periodontal Services

PERIODONTAL SERVICES

The gums and the supporting tissues around the teeth fall into the category of periodontics. About 75% of tooth loss is due to periodontal disease (often called gum disease). The periodontium includes your gums and the bone of your jaw that supports the teeth and also the specialised ligaments that attach your teeth to the bone. Taking care of your periodontal health and the periodontium is essential as they are the foundations of the teeth, and as well as being crucial to supporting the teeth, they also have an essential part in your overall health. There is evidence mounting between the possible links of your periodontal health and serious illnesses such as heart disease.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria (plaque) that forms on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms constantly on all our teeth. Gum disease occurs from formations of bacteria and plaque which infect the gum and surrounding tissues.

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What are the symptoms?

The symptoms are bleeding, red swollen, tender and receding gums, loose teeth, unpleasant taste and bad breath. Periodontal disease is often painless and therefor can go un noticed.


What is gingivitis?

The most common form of periodontal disease which most of us are likely to experience is gingivitis. It is inflammation of the gum, resulting in red swollen, tender and bleeding gums. Gingivitis is completely reversible once the stimulus that has caused it to happen is removed, e.g. The plaque and calculus.


What is Periodontitis?

As the disease progresses the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone may be lost, resulting in tooth mobility. Eventually, teeth become loose and may have to be removed. There are different types of gum disease and some require more active treatment than others.


Am I susceptible to periodontal disease?

There are many factors which may increase your susceptibility. Some of us may be more genetically predisposed to severe periodontal disease and a number of other factors affect disease severity. Such as:

  • Oral hygiene
  • Diet
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Your own general health
  • Illnesses e.g. Diabetes
  • Stress

 

Quitting smoking is especially important as it can reduce the risk of developing gum problems and increase the effectiveness of gum treatment.

Please click here for information on this website to help with smoking cessation


What is the treatment?

During your normal checkups your dentist will assess the condition of your gums and discuss this with you. Treatment varies depending on the severity of your periodontal disease. Treatment involves removal of plaque and calculus from above and below the gum. This is done by thoroughly scaling the teeth. It may also involve antibacterial treatment or possibly surgery of the gum. Often our patients will be advised to see a hygienist but in more advanced cases you may be recommended to have more in depth scaling with a dentist.

When periodontal disease is more advanced, the dentist may use several surgical techniques, which can help stabilise and improve the condition. These include bone grafting to replace lost bone due to severe bacterial infection, crown lengthening, which can help restructure a tooth so that it better supports a crown, and tooth and gum contouring, which can help reshape teeth and gums affected by gum disease.


 

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