Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals specifically with conditions affecting the gums and soft tissues that support your teeth. They treat periodontic disease (an advanced form of gum disease) and other inflammations of the mouth.
Gum disease begins as gingivitis, with common signs including blood on the toothbrush when you brush your teeth. You should contact your dentist immediately if you experience such symptoms, as gum disease is best treated early. Left untreated, gingivitis can become periodontitis, which is much more serious
Periodontitis affects the soft tissue that holds the teeth in place and can cause the gums to start separating from the teeth. The condition can also spread to the jaw bones, which can start to dissolve, leading to tooth loss. It usually takes some years for periodontitis to develop, and you should make an appointment with a periodontist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Your periodontist with conduct a thorough examination of the gums and teeth, checking how your teeth bite together, whether you have loose teeth and whether your gums are receding.
Periodontic treatment comprises home and practice-based care. It is essential you have good oral hygiene to prevent the development of plaque, so your periodontist will advise you on the best way to clean your teeth at home.
In the practice, your periodontist may carry out debridement, also known as root planing, which involves thorough cleaning of gum pockets to remove any plaque or bacteria. You may need a local anaesthetic for this procedure as some patients experience discomfort. If the treatment does not work or if you have deep or inaccessible gum pockets, your periodontist may recommend surgery.