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a Gum Specialist

Book a consultation with
a Gum Specialist

What is a Periodontist?

Dentists, Orthodontists and Periodontists all play very different roles in the health of your smile. If you are experiencing symptoms of gingivitis or progressing periodontal disease, it’s important to visit a Periodontist who can properly diagnose and treat you.

Periodontists can help prevent further gum infections and restore the health of the soft tissues around your teeth and jawbones. If left untreated, gum infections can lead to gum disease and even tooth loss, so it’s vital to keep a close eye on your gum health.

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What is a Periodontist?

A Periodontist is a dentist that specialises in the management of diseases and conditions associated with the gums.

Periodontists can help prevent progression of gum disease and therefore help to keep your teeth for longer. With no treatment, there is a risk of tooth loss.

You might see a periodontist if you have gum disease, problems associated with dental implants, require management of gum recession or if there is a need to increase the amount of tooth on show above the gum line.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is any disease relating to the gums surrounding a tooth or dental implant.
If left untreated, it may result in loss of the tooth or implant.

How does it develop?

Dental plaque forms on our teeth. If the plaque is not removed with a toothbrush and interdental cleaning aids, the gums can become inflamed. The plaque can also harden into deposits called calculus or tartar. If the plaque and calculus deposits persist, they can produce harmful substances.

These harmful products and the reaction of the gums to them, can cause destruction of the gums themselves, as well as the bone. As teeth lose their support, they become looser and are eventually lost. The bacteria in plaque produce toxins that irritate the gums and can make them red, tender, swollen, and more likely to bleed.

Can I prevent Gum Disease?

Conscientious removal of plaque by brushing and using interdental aids can minimise the risk of developing gum disease. However, there can be other important factors involved, including genetic, poorly controlled diabetes and smoking.

What does Periodontal Treatment involve?

The most important aspect of the management of gum disease is good oral hygiene. Initially, non-surgical therapy is performed, and depending on how your gums respond, more advanced treatment may be indicated.

Non-surgical therapy

Oral hygiene education, cleaning above and below the gums with local anaesthetic as necessary. This aims to prevent disease progression and tooth loss.

Surgical periodontal therapy

Pocket reduction surgeries, including access flap, resective and regenerative procedures. Following the initial therapy, there may be sites with residual disease. These surgeries are often indicated to prevent disease progression and facilitate cleaning.

How much will the Treatment cost?

The cost of the periodontal treatment will vary depending upon your needs. After your periodontist has examined you and determined the appropriate treatment, he or she can provide you with an estimate of the cost. Keep in mind that treating gum disease is less costly, and better for your health, than replacing teeth lost to untreated gum disease.

Where can I get this Treatment?

You can receive this treatment at our Harrow, Ealing or Whetstone Practice.

What is the difference between a Periodontist and a Dental Hygienist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. They are experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.

On the other hand, dental hygienists play a crucial preventive role in dental health. These licensed dental professionals are the individuals you typically see before the dentist comes in for an exam. They are masters of oral hygiene – a dental hygienist’s primary role is to professionally clean your teeth (a process known as scaling and root planing). They remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline and can also provide you with education on proper brushing and flossing techniques, helping you maintain a clean and healthy mouth.

The key distinction lies in their levels of training and specialization. While dental hygienists are primarily focused on preventive dental health and educating patients about good oral hygiene practices, periodontists are equipped to diagnose and treat more complex periodontal diseases and conditions. They provide therapeutic services and surgical procedures for severe gum diseases, perform bone grafts, and place implants.

What is Periodontics?

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When should I see a periodontist
(gum specialist)?

If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, you should arrange an appointment with a Periodontist as soon as possible.

• Bleeding while eating or brushing – Unexplained bleeding during meals or daily cleaning is one of the most common signs of infection in your gums.

• Bad breath: Persistent bad breath (also known as halitosis) can indicate gum infections, periodontitis, or gingivitis.

• Loose teeth and/or receding gum lines – If your teeth have started to look longer, you may have receding gum lines and bone loss due to periodontal disease. As it progresses and your jawbone deteriorates, your teeth may become loose or be lost altogether.

• Related health conditions: Poorly controlled diabetes is highly correlated with periodontitis and periodontal infections. The relationship works both ways and the presence of unstable periodontal disease can also affect the control of diabetes.

• Smoking is a well-known major risk factor for periodontal disease and can also mask the signs of gum disease so you may not notice symptoms until it is at a more advanced stage.

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Who is most at risk for gum disease?

Poorly controlled diabetes is highly correlated with periodontitis and periodontal infections. The relationship works both ways and the presence of unstable periodontal disease can also affect the control of diabetes. If you are diabetic, it is important to pay close attention to your gum health.

Smoking is also a well-known major risk factor for periodontal disease and can even mask the signs of gum disease – so you may not notice symptoms until it is at a more advanced stage.

Concerned about your gum health?

If you need to see a Periodontist, contact our team today.
Dr Shah, our Specialist Periodontist is available to provide a variety of periodontal treatment in our state-of-the-art practice in Harrow.

How does periodontal treatment work?

At Angle House our specialist periodontist offers the following treatments for periodontal disease:

• Non-surgical periodontal therapy: Early onset periodontal disease can be treated with non-surgical therapy. Our specialist periodontist will  deep clean above and below the gums with a local anaesthetic, together with advice on how to improve your oral hygiene. This aims to eradicate bacteria below the gums and reduce the extent to which the disease can progress.

• Surgical periodontal therapy: If periodontal disease is diagnosed and requires surgery, our specialist periodontist can provide pocket reduction and regenerative surgery. These procedures are indicated for sites with residual disease following non-surgical therapy. They aim to reduce deep gum pockets and, where indicated, regenerate lost tissue support.

• Periodontal plastic surgery: If the gum has receded in areas where periodontal disease has affected the health of the teeth and gums, periodontal plastic surgery procedures aim to provide root coverage in those specific areas.

• Crown lengthening procedures: When teeth break or decay spreads below the gum line, crown lengthening procedures aim to increase the height of the remaining tooth structure, allowing teeth to be restored.

What if I have more questions?

Book your first consultation now for a specialist assessment. We will discuss the best treatment for you, including all the costs and payment plans upfront. 

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