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The Guide to Treating Periodontal Disease

Okay, so you’ve assessed various online resources and cross-referenced it with your symptoms.

You’re experiencing bleeding, tender or swollen gums as well as loose teeth and mouth pain. You suspect that you might be suffering from gum disease, or even from periodontitis. What now?

  • Who should you go to see?
  • What will they do to help you?
  • Why is it important to get this checked out and diagnosed properly?
  • Where can you go to get the help you need?

Who?

A dentist or a periodontist… who should you go to see if you suspect you have gum disease or periodontitis? The short answer is, whoever can see you first?

While periodontists are specialists in the gums and the bones that support the teeth, a general dentist will also be able to diagnose periodontitis.

However, it’s important to remember that a dentist’s main area of expertise is centred on the teeth, so they will refer to any complex cases to a specialist periodontist.

What?

What do dentists do that periodontists don’t do, and vice versa?

Dentists generally try to treat gum disease through prevention.

They give routine cleanings and educate their patients on proper oral hygiene practices.

However, as mentioned, they are able to diagnose gum disease and periodontitis and can prescribe antibiotic medications.

There are even certain, non-surgical procedures (deep cleaning, for example) that they may be able to perform as an initial measure in treating the issue.

However, periodontists specialise in diagnosing and treating advanced cases of gum disease.

They focus solely on the periodontal area and perform various oral surgeries, from soft tissue removal to gum or bone grafts.

They are also experts in dental implants, root planing and deep pocket cleaning.

For any advanced case of gum disease or periodontitis, you will need to see a periodontal specialist.

Why?

Why is it so important to get these issues checked out and treated as soon as possible?

Aside from bleeding gums, a painful mouth and bad breath, periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss.

It destroys the supporting structures of the teeth, including the surrounding bone, so it will eventually cause the teeth to loosen and fall out, or require extraction.

Missing teeth can seriously affect your mental health and overall confidence and, of course, it has an effect on day-to-day things like eating and speaking, which can be very detrimental to one’s overall mental wellbeing.

Aside from the aesthetic and mental ramifications of periodontitis, it is also now understood that untreated periodontal disease can have effects on general health; for example, it can pose an increased risk of complications during pregnancy (such as pre-eclampsia, premature birth and low birth weight) and it is also linked to an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.

There have also been studies linking severe cases of periodontitis to cancer and even Alzheimer’s.

So if you’re in any doubt or suspect that you may be suffering from any form of gum disease, don’t put it off. Get in touch now and put your mind – and your mouth – at ease.

Where?

Where can you go to seek the assistance you need? You’re already here!

Just give us a call or get in touch here to discuss your concerns and make an appointment.

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