Periodontal (Gum) Treatment
Hatem Algraffee, our specialist periodontist, carries out treatment to help patients who have gum problems. He is concerned with the ‘soft tissues’ in the mouth.
The health of the gums is very important as it affects the health of the underlying bone which holds the tooth roots in place. Any bleeding from the gums is a sure sign that they are not healthy.
Poor gum health can lead to bone loss around the roots, which will then result in teeth becoming loose.
His patients’ most frequent concerns are:
- bleeding from their gums
- teeth which are becoming slightly loose
- gum recession
- concerns regarding existing implants
The periodontal treatment pathway:
Over the years, Hatem has evolved a successful treatment programme for his patients that is, essentially:
- a consultation and demonstration of cleaning techniques
- a short review a month later to check that the gum health has improved
- deep cleaning treatment (debridement), which is likely to be successful when carried out in a healthier mouth
The first consultation will be a comprehensive one, with a detailed discussion.
He will measure the ‘pocketing’ around each tooth, record the areas of inflammation and bleeding as well as any recession and will take low dose digital x-rays as necessary. He will demonstrate the use of interdental brushes for effective cleaning between each tooth. Following the consultation, he will send a report outlining the recommended treatment plan.
The next appointment is usually just for a short review, about a month later. By this time there is usually a significant improvement in patients’ gum health as a result of the improved cleaning interdentally.
As long as enough improvement has been achieved in the general gum health, Hatem will probably next recommend a deep cleaning treatment (‘debridement’). The purpose of this treatment is to remove any deposits from the root surfaces, which will encourage the gums to re-attach and the pocketing to reduce. The results of the debridement are significantly better when the gum inflammation and bleeding have been brought under control.
Hatem can help patients whose gums are receding. The cause of the recession may be an over-enthusiastic brushing method – if this is the case he will demonstrate a less aggressive technique to avoid further problems.
He will often recommend that impressions are taken so that models of the teeth showing an accurate record of the gum level can be kept for comparison in the future. In this way, the specific areas of recession can be monitored precisely.
If the recession has reached the stage where treatment becomes necessary to replace it he will discuss possible ‘gum grafting’. This procedure involves taking some gum tissue from another part of the mouth and re-positioning it into the areas where it has been lost.
Hatem also sees people who have bone loss around existing implants, usually at the request of their general dentist. He may be able to prolong the life of the implant by carrying out meticulous cleaning around the implant itself; this is carried out as a surgical procedure.