Periodontics – Specialist Care For Bedford Patients
Regular gum care is essential for healthy teeth and gums
Although patients usually come to us for help with the health and appearance of their teeth, we also put a lot of emphasis on caring for your gums as well. Poor gum health can lead to a lot of problems, not only with the gums themselves, but with the teeth too.
Unhealthy gums can present symptoms such as bleeding, inflammation and soreness, but can also, if not monitored and treated in time, lead to teeth becoming loose due to bone degradation, potentially leading to loss of some teeth.
It is also worth reminding any of our patients with dental implants that you need to take good care of your gums too. Poor gum health could cause problems such as peri-implantitis which can cause your implants to fail in some cases.
The Dental Centre Bedford is pleased to provide a specialist periodontal service which, along with ongoing care from our dental hygienist, can help you maintain healthy gums and, consequently, healthy teeth and mouth.
Before we move on to our experienced Bedford periodontist and what they do, it is worth briefly refreshing the role of a dental hygienist and why you should see them every six months or so.
The dental hygienist
The hygienist performs a number of functions; some of which is educational and some more practical. They can discuss your oral health with you and suggest improvements to help you keep your mouth healthier and will also carry out a procedure called a ‘scale and polish’ which helps to remove potentially harmful tartar, or calculus, from your teeth and gum line.
Preventative periodontal care
So what does a periodontist do? Well, essentially they help you not only maintain a healthy set of gums but can provide treatment when things become more serious. To help prevent poor gum health they can provide you with a thorough oral examination. These not only simply look at the condition of your gums, noting any visible problems such as inflammation for example, but also examine the underlying structure including the roots of the teeth and the surrounding bone using x-rays. This is done in order to ensure that periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease, is not present. Where this is detected, it can often be treated effectively, which we will come to shortly.
While early stage gum care is largely carried out by the hygienist, they may refer you to the periodontist if they are concerned about any issues including how advanced the problem might be. While a scale and polish is highly effective for many cases of gum disease, it is insufficient if advanced periodontitis is present as most of the damage sits beneath the gum line and will require more advanced care to try to correct it, and this is where the periodontist can help you.
Where periodontitis is detected, the usual treatment that can possibly save your tooth is to have a ‘deep clean’, sometimes also called a ‘root scaling’. This is an invasive treatment that will require the use of a local anaesthetic.
Following an assessment of the situation by the periodontist, who will use x-rays to ascertain the extent of the condition, you will be given a local anaesthetic in the area where the treatment is to be carried out to make the procedure as comfortable as possible for you.
The next step is to access the tartar not only above but also below the gum line, sometimes as deep as the tooth roots and jawbone. In order to do this, it may be necessary to cut and peel back the gums so that the cleaning can take place. You shouldn’t feel too much discomfort during this due to the local anaesthetic. The tartar will then be cleaned and, where an incision has been made, the gum may be stitched.
It is possible that you may require antibiotics to clear up the problem but this isn’t necessarily so in all cases. If you are prescribed them, please make sure that you take them and finish the prescribed course.
From this point on, it is essential to make sure that you don’t need to have this treatment repeated and our local Bedford dentist will provide advice on this. There may be follow up appointments with the periodontist to make sure that you are getting back on track with good gum health, but also regular six monthly appointments with the hygienist to make sure that your teeth and gums stay healthy. There is, of course, also a requirement that you do your bit too, through quality brushing, the use of dental floss and general good oral health care.
If you have problems with your gums, such as soreness, bleeding, inflammation etc, please don’t ignore it and allow the situation to worsen. Arrange to have an initial examination to assess the situation and we will be able to recommend a plan of action from there.
To make your appointment with us, please call the Dental Centre Bedford today on 01234 819868.