Periodontitis, more commonly known as gum disease, is typically caused by the build-up plaque and tartar. The bacteria found in plaque produces toxins that attack the gums, and this may result in damage to the supporting bone and soft tissue.
Without treatment there is a chance that the alveolar bone that secures the teeth may slowly deteriorate, resulting in tooth loss and an increased risk of other health problems as bacteria enters the bloodstream.
Often the first signs of gum disease may be swollen gums that bleed easily, persistent bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth or your teeth may appear longer as the gum recedes. However, many people treated for periodontitis report no symptoms and invariably there is no discomfort with gum disease.
Treating Periodontal Disease
The treatment of periodontitis focuses on removing the bacteria from the pockets that have formed around the teeth. We then use a technique called root planning to smooth out the rough spots formed on the root. This not only removes any existing infection it will also help deter bacteria from colonising on the root.
Once treated, the gum draws back to hold the tooth however, the attachment is usually weaker than before and so you may require further root planning and a robust cleaning routine to ensure the gum line is healthy.
If you are experiencing advanced stage gum disease you may require a surgical procedure, we will discuss all treatment options thoroughly with you during your consultation.
Periodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry that covers the structure of teeth and gums and the diseases that affect them.
Periodontists undertake a further 3 years of training and are familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal diseases and how to prevent them. They will also be able to undertake advanced work including the placement of dental implants, root planning and regenerative procedures.