Periodontal Treatment


Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gums caused by dental plaque (normal mouth bacteria) when it is left to build up on the teeth. This causes inflammation in the gums and can lead to progressive destruction of the bone support around the teeth. In the early stages there is often minimal discomfort. As the disease worsens, gum recession may develop. The end result of periodontal disease is tooth mobility and tooth loss. In most cases, periodontal bone loss is irreversible so early diagnosis and treatment is important.

Not everyone is equally susceptible to periodontal disease. Smoking is the biggest preventable risk factor. Susceptibility is also increased by diabetes, chronic stress and some other medical conditions. A family history of periodontal disease may also reveal a genetic susceptibility.

Periodontal Treatment

The main goal of periodontal treatment is to maintain healthy gum and bone support for the teeth by controlling and preventing gum infection.

The initial stage of treatment usually involves deep cleaning (scaling and root debridement) to remove all plaque and calculus in the narrow pockets between your teeth and gums. This is often done under local anaesthetic. Following this cleaning your teeth may become sensitive to cold, but with good plaque control this will reduce over time. There will also be some tightening and shrinkage of the gums around your teeth which may result in triangular spaces opening up between your teeth and your teeth appearing longer.

Excellent plaque control as part of the daily home care routine is critical to preventing plaque accumulation and reinfection following the initial treatment. We will work with you to develop a tailored strategy to optimise your daily plaque control. Commitment to your ongoing home care routine will enable you to achieve the best possible long-term outcomes.

After a few months we will reassess your periodontal health to determine the response to initial therapy. At this point, most patients will not require further active treatment and can transition to preventive care. If there are areas that have not responded to treatment, then periodontal surgery may be needed. This may be recommended in certain areas to regenerate your lost bone and gum, or to improve access for plaque control.

Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal disease is a chronic disease and requires long-term care to prevent progression. Regular monitoring and supportive professional cleaning are essential to preserving your periodontal health. The most appropriate treatment for you will be determined, with a maintenance interval for you based upon your individual susceptibility. Maintenance care is provided as part of a collaborative team with your dentist.