A periodontist is a dentally qualified professional who specialises in the prevention, diagnosis and correct management of gum-related issues and the placement of dental implants.
Most patients will not experience many symptoms until the disease has progressed to an irreversible state. Most common symptoms usually encountered include:
- Bleeding gums (especially during brushing)
- Loose teeth
- Increased gaps between teeth
- Gingival recession
- Tooth loss
Gum disease is a multi-factorial disease. Susceptibility is higher in smokers, diabetics and patients with a family history of gum disease. Poor plaque control has a negative effect and hence allows for faster destruction of the periodontal tissues.
The treatment involves deep cleaning of tooth and root surfaces-above and below the gums- in order to remove thick plaque and calculus deposits. Depending on the severity of each case, up to six visits may be necessary in order to manage progression of the disease.
The treatment is carried out under local anaesthetic hence it is completely painless.
Periodontal treatment usually has high success rates (95%) and in most patients is carried out once prior to establishing oral health. In very few individuals, further gum treatment may be necessary.
There is always response to periodontal therapy; this may be high or low. Should there be low response, the patient’s oral hygiene may need to be further improved or further means of periodontal treatment may be necessary i.e. periodontal surgery.
Disease recurrence is highly unlikely provided patients maintain a high level of oral hygiene and keep up to date with their maintenance visits. Your periodontist will decide and advise you on how often to see them for your maintenance appointments.
Not necessarily however they do need to follow the oral hygiene advice given by their periodontist at regular intervals every day.
Oral antibiotics may act as an additional approach to periodontal therapy in certain cases however they are not used for the treatment of gum disease.
Gum disease can affect any individual, of any gender and of any age. There is a predilection for some ethnic groups and certain age groups.