General Dentistry


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What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is commonly known as gum disease. It can affect people of all ages but one of the main risk factors is aging. 

RSD is the process of cleaning the teeth below the gum line. This involves using delicate and intricate instruments which vibrate and flush away the deposits of plaque and calculus from the root surface. RSD is usually performed in situations where gum disease does not respond to normal brushing and cleaning with the hygienist. The aim is to clean deep below the gum line and remove the bacteria responsible for gum disease. For your comfort, the procedure is nearly always carried out with local anaesthetic and, depending on severity, it can be used together with antibiotics. RSD is normally carried out over a few appointments to allow the gums to heal and respond adequately.

If gum disease is allowed to progress over a period of time, it can result in the recession of gums which can make the teeth look longer, result in gaps (black triangles) between teeth and increased sensitivity of the teeth. The management of this problem has advanced considerably with new and different ways to replace lost gum tissue. This can be done by using unique bone substitute materials to replace the supporting structure of the gums. Furthermore, gum tissue can be surgically repositioned and transferred from one part of the mouth (usually the palate) to another to correct these recession defects.

When there is excessive gum tissue around the teeth, it can lead to the appearance of short teeth or a gummy smile. Similarly if there is a high smile line, it can result in the same appearance. Crown lengthening involves the removal of some of the gum and supporting tissues to increase the height of the teeth, which is known as crown lengthening. This can result in the teeth appearing longer and produce a broader smile.

Implant dentistry has advanced considerably with more and more people having dental implants placed. Implants are susceptible to disease much like teeth and the same process of bone loss and mobility of an implant can occur through a disease known as peri-implantitis.

If dental implant health is not maintained over a period of time, gum disease can occur around the implant which can result in bone loss, mobility of the implant and eventual loss of the implant.

The treatment usually involves deep cleaning of the implant and the supporting gum around it. Further bone regeneration and gum grafting procedures may also be required if there is bone loss.

Common Symptoms of Gum Disease

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, you may need periodontics.

This is nearly always a sign of gum disease, which is very common and very treatable.

What to do – The best thing is to visit either the dentist for a routine check up or at the very least book in for a hygiene treatment to give your teeth and gums a clean and receive advice on how to keep them clean.

Gum disease can cause the gums to recede to varying extents and this can cause the teeth to appear longer, more yellow, become more sensitive and give the appearance of “gappy” teeth or “black triangles”.

What to do – This can often be a sign of more developed or aggressive gum disease and you should seek urgent advice from your dentist.

This is a very common symptom and can be associated with gum disease, smoking and consumption of strong smelling foods.

What to do – Make an appointment with your dentist to identify the nature of the problem and a plan can then be made to treat it accordingly.