Gum diseases, also known as periodontal disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. This can affect one tooth or many teeth and begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colourless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.
Periodontists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. Our service is consultant led but is delivered by specialists, specialists in training who are at the end of their training programme and dentists with enhanced periodontal skills.
At your first appointment with us you will be seen by a dentist who will assess your dental needs. You will be asked to provide information about your general health, including any medications you take and you will also be asked whether you pay for NHS dental treatment.
An assessment appointment usually takes between 20 and 40 minutes. After the dentist has checked your mouth and teeth, they will talk to you about any treatment needed. If treatment is needed the dentist will discuss the options available to you.
Non-surgical periodontal treatments include scaling and root planing (a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus [tartar] from deep gum pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins), followed by oral therapy, as needed on a case-by-case basis.
Periodontal surgery may be necessary if on your assessment it is shown that the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired with non-surgical treatment.
The four types of surgical treatments most commonly prescribed are:
- Pocket Reduction Procedures
- Regenerative Procedures
- Crown Lengthening
- Soft Tissue Grafts
Treatment will only be carried out in agreement with you and in a way that you are happy with. The dentist may also offer you an appointment with our Oral Health Promotion Team to help you keep your teeth and mouth healthy to try to avoid further treatment.