What is periodontal disease?

Your teeth are like plants anchored in soil by roots. Just as pests can harm plants if the soil isn’t cared for, bacteria from food, especially in presence of sugary ones, can harm your gums. If you neglect oral hygiene, these bacteria lead to gum infections, called periodontal disease.

It has two main stages:

  • Gingivitis
    Early signs where gums turn red and bleed. Think of it as a plant with yellowing leaves. Proper oral care can reverse this, much like watering a thirsty plant.
  • Periodontitis
    Ignoring gingivitis escalates to this stage, where gums recede from teeth, creating infection-prone pockets. It’s akin to soil eroding from plant roots. The body fights these bacteria, potentially damaging the bone and tissue securing the teeth. If unchecked, it can result in loose or lost teeth, like ailing plants.

In essence, periodontal disease stems from poor dental care, leading from bleeding gums to potential tooth loss.

Regular oral hygiene and dental check-ups can largely prevent and treat it.

Who is the periodontist?

Dr Haniyeh Moaven

Specialist in Periodontics

DDS | DClinDent in Periodontology | M – Perio (RCS – Ed) | ClinicL teacher in Periodontology at KCL

Learn More Refer Online


What does periodontal treatment involve?

Periodontal treatment involves various procedures to combat gum disease, depending on its severity.

Here’s a simplified breakdown:

  1. Dental Hygiene Visit: Routine check-ups to remove plaque and tartar from above the gum margins.
  2. Professional Mechanical Plaque Removal (PMPR): A “deep cleaning” to eliminate tartar, bacteria from below the gum margin with application of numbing shots, and creating smooth tooth roots surface for better gum attachment.
  3. Medications: After deep cleaning, you may receive mouthwashes or systemic/ local antimicrobials to clear remaining bacteria and minimize periodontal pockets.
  4. Pocket Reduction: Treats gum “pockets” by cleaning them and reattaching the gum snugly around the tooth.
  5. Gum Grafts: For severely receded gums, tissue is taken from elsewhere in the mouth or a donor and grafted to the receding areas.
  6. Bone Treatments: For bone loss around tooth roots, procedures regenerate lost bone and tissue.
  7. Maintenance: Post-treatment, regular 3–4-month visits ensure continued gum and tooth health.
  8. Home Care & Lifestyle: Good oral habits at home and choices like quitting smoking enhance treatment success.

In essence, periodontal treatment involves cleaning away harmful bacteria, ensuring the gums are tightly sealed around the teeth, possibly rebuilding lost bone and tissue, and then maintaining that health with regular visits and good home care.

Why have I been referred to a periodontist?

If you’ve been referred to a periodontist, it’s likely because your dentist believes that your gums, the supporting bone, or other structures around your teeth need specialized attention.

Here are some common reasons for such a referral:

  1. Advanced Gum Disease: If you have moderate to severe gum disease (periodontitis), a periodontist has the specialized training to treat it. They can offer treatments beyond regular dental cleanings.
  2. Complex Cases: Some patients have certain risk factors like diabetes, heart disease, or a history of smoking which can complicate gum disease. Periodontists are trained to manage these more challenging scenarios.
  3. Gum Recession: If your gums are pulling away from your teeth, exposing more of your tooth or its root, a periodontist can help address this issue.
  4. Dental Implants: If you’re considering getting dental implants, a periodontist has specialized training in placing them. They ensure that the implant integrates well with the bone and gum tissue.
  5. Cosmetic Gum Procedures: If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your gum line or if you have a “gummy” smile, a periodontist can provide cosmetic procedures to enhance your smile’s aesthetics.
  6. Bone Loss: If X-rays show that you’re losing bone around your teeth, it might be due to gum disease or another condition. Periodontists can diagnose the reason and recommend treatments.
  7. Persistent Issues: If you still experience symptoms like swollen, bleeding, or receding gums despite regular dental treatments, a periodontist can offer a deeper investigation and more specialized care.

In summary, a referral to a periodontist indicates that your dental health needs a closer look, especially concerning your gums and the structures that support your teeth.

A periodontist has 3 additional years of training beyond dental school, focusing solely on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of issues affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth.

It’s all about getting you the best care for your specific needs!

How successful is periodontal treatment?

Periodontal disease treatments are generally successful, especially with early detection and intervention.

Their effectiveness hinges on several factors:

  • Disease Stage: Early stages are more easily reversible, while advanced stages can be managed but benefit greatly from early action.
  • Patient Compliance: Adhering to professional advice and regular dental visits enhances success.
  • Health & Lifestyle: Managing systemic illnesses and quitting habits like smoking can significantly improve outcomes.
  • Professional Skill: The expertise of the dental professional plays a crucial role.
  • Post-Treatment Care: Regular maintenance visits post-treatment are essential to ensure long-term success.
  • Modern Technology: Advanced tools and techniques have elevated treatment success rates.

In essence, while periodontal treatments are effective, consistent care and monitoring are vital for lasting oral health.

What happens during consultation with periodontist?

During a periodontal consultation for 60 minutes with Haniyeh :

  1. History Review: Your medical and dental histories are discussed to understand factors affecting gum health.
  2. Clinical Examination: Your mouth is visually inspected for signs of gum disease.
  3. Pocket Measurement: The depth of gum pockets around teeth is measured to assess gum health.
  4. X-rays and clinical photographs: Images might be taken to check for bone loss or issues around tooth roots.
  5. Diagnosis: The periodontist shares findings and classifies any detected gum disease.
  6. Treatment Plan: Recommendations are made based on the diagnosis, ranging from non-surgical to surgical treatments.
  7. Oral Hygiene Guidance: Tips are provided for optimal at-home dental care.
  8. Discussion: You can ask questions and discuss concerns.
  9. Scheduling: If needed, further treatments are scheduled.

In summary, the consultation involves a thorough assessment of your gum health, leading to a clear diagnosis and recommended treatment plan.

For more information regarding this treatment
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