Gum problems & cosmetic gum techniques

Periodontists are the specialists in the management of gum disease. Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in the western world and most sufferers are unaware of their problem.

It is slowly progressing, in most case taking many years to become evident. Gum recession, "getting long in the tooth", bad breath, bleeding gums, loosening or drifting of teeth can all be signs of the advancement of this unpleasant process.

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Untreated gum disease results in loosening and eventual loss of the teeth. At present it is impossible to cure gum disease, we can however control it. As with any other disease processes the earlier we can diagnose it the easier treatment is, and the better the prognosis. Unfortunately the disease can be active for ten or more years before symptoms appear (such as the teeth start to become loose or the gums recede).

Aggravating factors

  1. Poor dental hygiene / inadequate dental home care
  2. Smoking
  3. Night time tooth grinding

Treatment

When referred specifically for this treatment, an appointment with one of our periodontal specialists.

They will carry out a full periodontal examination mapping your presenting gum condition using a dedicated computer programme and internationally accepted indices. This baseline measurement is then used to assess your needs and comprise a plan of treatment together with a personal recall and home care maintenance programme. A full explanation of your problem and what can be expected with the various treatment options will be given, together with time to answer any questions you may have.

Treatment depends on the severity of the problem but can involve:

  • Initial personalised program of treatment with the dental hygienist
  • Establishing a personalised home care regime - instruction and advice is provided by our oral health consultant
  • Localised grafting techniques to regrow lost bone and gum tissue
  • Gum surgery
  • Bite adjustment
  • The administration of local medications
  • Planning for tooth loss
  • Splinting of loose teeth

In all cases long term management is essential after the initial treatment phase. As a minimum most patients can expect to see the dental hygienist every three months for an appointment of approximately one hours duration.

An essential part of management is planning for tooth loss and regular reassessment.

Gum disease by its nature involves loss of the supporting bone; there is a point beyond which there may be insufficient bone remaining to anchor a dental implant.

If, when teeth are lost, it is your wish to replace them with dental implant-supported restorations then it may be necessary to electively extract teeth before absolutely necessary in order to be able to have the final implant-supported restoration that you seek.

We are aware that when patients come to see us, most of those with gum disease have been battling it for many years and that there is a huge psychological hurdle to overcome before teeth can be extracted. We are very sympathetic to this situation and will spend as much time as necessary counselling you on realistic expectations and treatment outcomes especially with regard to the impact this may have on your life.

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