Periodontics is the specialty of dentistry dealing with gums and gum diseases.
Gum disease is the most common infection throughout the world. Some gingival inflammation is present in most individuals although we are usually unaware there are problems until the disease is fairly advanced. Things to look out for are bleeding gums, sensitive gums, bad breath, and receding gums as these are the earlier signs of gum disease. As the disease progresses there is loss of bone supporting the teeth so that the teeth become loose.
There are many types of gum disease, and contrary to popular belief, they affect young as well as older people. Heredity does play a part in gum disease so if members of your family have gum disease then you may also be susceptible and a thorough examination is advisable.
Lifestyle does impact how severely you can be affected by gum disease. So a good nutritious diet, and particularly vitamin C, is a good starting point. Smoking is one of the most significant factors in the initiation and progression of gum disease. Not only do smokers get more severe gum disease, they also lose teeth much earlier.
Gum disease can be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular visits to our dental hygienist. Once gum disease is established and bone loss has occurred the effects cannot be reversed. Special treatment will be required to arrest the disease and maintenance becomes more difficult.
Early stages of gum disease are treated with root debridement; often called deep cleaning, and usually carried out with the gum numbed. More advanced gum disease requires more specialised techniques for treatment. This usually involves gum surgery and it is sometimes possible to restore some of damage that has taken place with regeneration techniques.
In addition to treating gum disease, Periodontists also carry out cosmetic treatments, from covering recessions to improving the shape and contour of gums to improve your smile.
If you suspect gum problems, the starting point is a consultation with our Periodontist.