A periodontist specialises in periodontics and periodontics is the study of the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth. Effectively, a periodontist specialises in gums and gum disease. Periodontal (gum) disease is a contributing factor to the loss of adult teeth.
If a general dentist identifies advanced gum disease during a general check-up they often refer the patient to specialist dental clinics, including Ikon Dental Suite, in Ealing. A periodontist then examines and offers suitable treatment.
What is periodontal (gum) disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by a build-up of plaque, the sticky layer of bacteria that continuously forms on teeth. The acids given off by these bacteria are what damage the gums. Brushing and flossing help remove the bacteria.
The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. The gums become red, swollen and are more prone to bleeding. At this stage, gingivitis is still reversible with the help of daily brushing and flossing.
In later stages of periodontal disease, called periodontitis, the gums and bone structure can become more permanently damaged. At this stage teeth may fall out or have to be removed by a dentist.
A periodontist in Ealing will assess the severity of any periodontal disease.
What treatments are available?
It is best to catch it in its early stages and there isn’t a more obvious sign than swollen, red and bleeding gums. If periodontal disease is detected in the early stages, as gingivitis, it is imperative to brush and floss on a regular basis in order to reverse the effects, even if it is painful.
If the disease has progressed further, patients may need to get professional cleaning as often as every two months in order to prevent plaque build-up. Antibiotics may be necessary to fight infection.
How to prevent periodontal disease
Brushing twice a day removes the film of bacteria. Not only brushing the front and back of the teeth but flossing between them as well is beneficial in the prevention of gum disease. This not only removes the bacteria but any food particles trapped. Eating a balanced diet and cutting down on sugary snacks helps too. And last but not least, visiting a dentist regularly will prevent a visit to the periodontist in Ealing.