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Periodontology

Periodontology is the field of dentistry that is devoted to the gums. Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease, which affects up to 15% of the adult population in the UK. At Align & Smile, we provide expert care for patients with gum disease.

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What exactly is gum disease?

Gum disease is a type of oral disease, which affects the gums, the soft tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth. There are various types of gum disease including gingivitis and periodontitis or periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease, which is caused by the presence of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria combine with saliva and food debris to form plaque, a sticky substance that clings to the gum line. The bacteria in plaque releases acids, which irritate the gums and cause pain and inflammation. In many cases, gingivitis can be treated and managed effectively with good oral hygiene. However, if gingivitis is left untreated, it can develop into periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is an advanced form of gum disease, which can cause irreparable damage to the bone structures that hold the teeth in place. Bone loss causes the teeth to become loose in their sockets, causing them to fall out.

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Signs and symptoms of gum disease

If you have any of these symptoms, or you’ve noticed any of these signs, we strongly recommend getting in touch and organising a consultation:

– Swollen, sore gums
– Increased redness in the gums
– Bleeding when you brush
– Receding gums
– An unpleasant taste in your mouth
– Bad breath
– Tenderness in the gums

If you have symptoms that may be indicative of gum disease, our dentists will examine your mouth and make a diagnosis.
The next step will be to consider treatment options.

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How is periodontal disease treated?

Treatment for advanced gum disease often comprises a combination of techniques. We will provide tailored oral hygiene advice, and we may also recommend treatments including root planing. Scale and polish treatments may be sufficient to tackle very mild cases of gum disease, but with more severe symptoms, a more intensive approach is required. Root planing involves targeting the areas of the teeth that you cannot reach with a toothbrush, and it cleans periodontal pockets and removes plaque from the tooth roots. After root planing, the size of the pockets will decrease, which will help to prevent further bone loss.

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FAQs

Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that is concerned with the treatment, prevention, diagnosis and management of issues that affect the gums, most notably, gum disease.

The most common signs to look out for include swelling, soreness and pain, redness, and bleeding when you brush your teeth.

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease, which doesn’t cause lasting damage to the gums. Periodontal disease is a more severe form of gum disease, which has irreversible effects on the gums and the supportive bone structure beneath.

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