Periodontal Disease is the loss of gingival (gum) health. Its earliest manifestations are bleeding gums, progressing to loss of bone around teeth, looseness of teeth, pain and swelling.

You will be at a high risk of periodontal disease if you have:

  • A family history of gum disease
  • Are a smoker
  • Have a susceptible medical history: diabetics, asthmatics etc
  • Have poor oral hygiene, from inappropriate tooth brushing and flossing

While many patients routinely come in for their ‘6 monthly check-up and cleans’ without incident, some patients require more extensive ‘deep cleans.’ This may be due to heavy deposits on the teeth as a result of delaying treatment, genetic factors or poor response to routine ‘cleans.’

Periodontal treatments are individualised and involves:

  • Taking baseline measurements of the teeth and gums (x-rays and measurement of attachment levels).
  • Patient education on adequate dental hygiene (some combination of tooth brush, floss, Piksters, medicated mouth washes and toothpastes etc)
  • “Deep cleans” with or without anaesthetic depending on your sensitivity level.
  • Regular maintenance and review, most likely 3 monthly

Despite the best attempts of both dentist and patient sometimes there is little or no improvement in periodontal health. At this point in time your dentist will recommend referral to a specialist periodontist.