The best way to prevent gum disease is by effective daily brushing and flossing, backed up by regular six-monthly professional cleaning and check-ups. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is essential to prevent its progress.
What the Oral Hygienist and Dentist can do
Early on, when redness, swelling, and bleeding are the only symptoms, we can treat and reverse gum disease non-surgically. Regular checkups with your dentist and professional cleaning with our dental hygienists, Roz or Emma, greatly increase your potential for early detection and conservative treatment.
This treatment usually includes careful, individualized instruction regarding the most effective means of brushing and flossing at home. This strategy is often accompanied by professional scaling or careful scraping of all affected tooth surfaces, gum pocket irrigation, and even local antibiotic placement in areas of significant irritation.
Our patients generally experience immediate improvement. However, if symptoms don't improve significantly, you may require surgical treatment.
If gum disease progresses without intervention, a patient might need surgery to remediate the disease and restore the mouth to good oral health. Some surgical treatments include
- Pocket depth reduction
- Bone or tissue regeneration
- Crown lengthening
- Soft tissue grafts.
All of these procedures can improve your chances of keeping your teeth for life.
The periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. They typically see the more severe and complex cases that require specialised treatment. They only treat the gums and the bone supporting the teeth and are experts in the treatment of chronic oral inflammation. Periodontists also provide other treatments, such as gum contouring, crown lengthening and bone regeneration procedures.
We have a consulting periodontist on our team who consults and treats our patients at the Hout Bay Dental Studio practice every week. Since tooth loss is very often a consequence of periodontal disease, our periodontist is highly qualified to also place dental implants.