Industry Leading Periodontist in Sydney
See what makes us different
Our practice is limited to the treatment of gums, grafting and dental implants.
Our team is focused on providing a relaxed environment as part of our commitment to patient comfort.
We utilise the latest in both techniques and technology to provide the best possible patient care.
When to see a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist who specialises in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease and in the placement of dental implants.
The early signs of gum disease include bleeding on brushing, swollen/puffy gums and a bad taste or smell from the mouth. As the disease gets more severe you may notice the teeth becoming loose, gaps forming between the teeth or a change in position of the teeth. In many cases you may not be aware of this, but your general dentist may detect an increase in pocket depths forming around your teeth or bone loss seen on an x-ray. At this stage it is advisable to see a periodontist.
What is Periodontal disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection in the tissues around your teeth caused by plaque-forming bacteria. This results in inflammation of the tissues and can lead to loss of supporting bone around the teeth and eventually tooth loss. The early signs of gum disease include bleeding on brushing and a bad taste/smell. As the disease gets more severe you may notice the teeth becoming mobile, gaps forming between the teeth or a change in position of the teeth.
The early form of periodontal disease is called Gingivitis. You can control this condition with treatment, by keeping your mouth and teeth clean, and seeing the dentist regularly. However, more advanced periodontal disease, known as Periodontitis – will require more extensive treatment and the need to see a periodontist.
Staging and Severity
Periodontitis is diagnosed as being localised or generalised and in stages 1 to 4.
- Stage 1: Mild
- Stage 2: Moderate.
- Stage 3: Severe with potential for tooth loss.
- Stage 4: Severe with potential for loss of all teeth.
Periodontitis is also categorised into three rates of progression:
- Grade A – Slow progressing
- Grade B – Moderately progressing
- Grade C – Rapidly progressing
Periodontal disease and Systemic Health
Periodontitis works on the same chronic inflammation model seen in systemic diseases, there is sufficient evidence to suggest a bi-directional link between the two. Periodontal diseases can predispose individuals to several systemic diseases and has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and insulin resistance, oral and colorectal cancer, gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory tract infection and pneumonia, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes and is often considered a complication of diabetes. Those who don’t have their diabetes under control are especially at risk. Research has shown the link between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways with periodontal disease making it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar, increasing the risk for diabetic complications.
Research has shown that periodontal disease may increase the risk of heart disease due to the increased inflammation caused by periodontal disease. It is though that this chronic low-grade inflammation can lead to atherosclerosis, making it harder for blood flow and increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
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Treatment of Periodontal disease
The primary aim of periodontal treatment is to reduce the amount of bacteria on the teeth roots and in the tissues surrounding the teeth that cause periodontal disease and to reduce the risk of disease progression.
Non-surgical Periodontal Treatment
In most cases conservative management is enough to stabilise the gum disease, especially in mild to moderate disease. This involves deep cleaning under the gums with specialised instruments to remove the bacterial biofilm and plaque retentive calculus (tartar) in the periodontal pockets. This can be performed under local anaesthesia to minimise any discomfort.
In some severe cases, non-surgical periodontal therapy may precede surgical therapy. This can help reduce the inflammation and increase the success of surgery as well as limit the areas requiring surgery.
Surgical Periodontal Treatment
In some instances, the extent or location of the periodontal defect may limit the effectiveness of non-surgical periodontal therapy due to poor accessibility. This is when a small gum surgical procedure can be carried out to gain access to periodontally affected root surfaces. This has the added advantage of being able to reshape areas of bone that have been damaged by the infection allowing you to maintain the area around the teeth more effectively. In select cases the use of bone grafting materials at the same time may regenerate the lost bone in localised sites, improving the long-term prognosis of severely affected teeth.
We are aware that just mentioning ‘gum surgery’ carries many connotations that can appear daunting, but with the use of local anaesthetic the procedure is carried out with little to no discomfort.
Post-operative recovery is fast and is rarely accompanied by severe pain. Any discomfort is managed with analgesics and mouthwashes, which will be provided for you.
For patients that feel more anxious about the procedure we can arrange for ‘twilight’ or intravenous sedation, which is carried out in the surgery by a medical anaesthetist.