A Periodontist is a dentist who specialises in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal (gum) diseases, ranging from gingivitis to advanced periodontitis with bone loss.
Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is a process that starts with a biofilm that adheres to the surface of your teeth. Gums first become red, then inflamed and swollen. Later, the bone that supports the teeth is eaten away. In the terminal stages, this leads to tooth loss.
Why should you see a Periodontist?
Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. However, this disease is avoidable. Consistent periodontal care including examination and x-rays, as needed, are key to your oral health.
What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
- Bright red or purplish gums
- Gums that feel tender when touched
- Gums that pull away from your teeth (recede), making your teeth look longer than normal
- New spaces developing between your teeth
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Bad breath
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
The Stages of Periodontal Disease
A mild inflammation of the gums, which may occasionally bleed when you brush and floss. No bone loss has occurred, so it is totally reversible.
This is the next stage of periodontal disease. Here the gums separate from the tooth allowing bacteria to invade. The toxins they produce cause additional inflammation and bleeding. Much more damaging is the bone loss that occurs, as it is irreversible damage. With early intervention and proper care, this loss can be maintained non-surgically, preserving your teeth.
In the terminal stages of periodontal disease, pronounced loss of gum attachment, bone loss, pus accumulation and eventual tooth loss are exhibited. In its earlier stages, surgical intervention may be recommended. In latter stages, there is no cure except for extractions.
Is gum disease treatable?
Our Periodontists are highly skilled when it comes to gum disease. Below is a list of common processes that may be undertaken if you require periodontal treatment.
Your dentist or hygienist will measure the degree of any breakdown of the gums using a probe.
Routine scaling and polishing
Your teeth are cleaned of all hard and soft deposits using ultrasonic and hand scalers. For patients with sensitive areas, our clinicians are happy to discuss these problem areas and provide a solution to ensure that you are comfortable throughout your appointment.
The root surfaces of the teeth are cleansed of all deposits allowing inflammation to decrease and arresting bone destruction. Local anaesthetic may be used.
Some situations require a surgical intervention to re-establish optimal health. In these cases, you may be referred to a specialist.
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