Causes of Gum Disease

Healthy gum don’t bleed. If you have noticed that your gums are bleeding during brushing then you may be susceptible to gum disease and should inform your general dentist or hygienist at your next routine appointment.

What is Periodontal (gum) Disease?

Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.

Picture of peridontal gum disease

Treatment for Periodontal disease

Root coverage is the main treatment approach for gingival (gum) recession. It restores lost tissue over an exposed root surface and it also enhances patient’s appearance. In this case both function and aesthetics are achieved but there are cases where soft tissue grafting is needed more for functional purposes rather than aesthetics; in these cases some root coverage might be attempted but the goal could be to enhance the quality of the gum around a tooth that will, for example, receive a crown.
Examples of root coverage dental treatment

Our specialists

At Devonshire Place Dental Practice, we have two Periodontal Specialists; Mr Nikolaos Tatarakis, is a diplomate of the Board of American Periodontology and Mr Nick Lewis, is also a Consultant at the prestigious Eastman Dental Hospital (UCLH). Both of our Specialists also lecture at prestigious Dental training institutes and are published authors in the field of Periodontology.

Our Specialists work closely with our team of hygienists, Tara, Terza and Danuta who will support your ongoing maintenance care.

  • What is Periodontal disease?

    Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the soft and hard tissue that support your teeth. This condition is caused when plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—builds up on the teeth and hardens into tartar. In the early stages, the gums become inflamed and there may be some bleeding evident when brushing and/or flossing. This stage is called “gingivitis.” Gingivitis can be reversed with treatment from your dentist and good oral hygiene. If gingivitis is not treated, the disease may progress into “periodontitis,” where plaque and tartar build up below the gum line. Irritation and inflammation of the gums occur, creating pockets (increased space between your teeth and gums) that are infected. As periodontitis worsens, the pockets get deeper and the bone that supports the teeth is lost. If left untreated, this will eventually lead to tooth loss.

  • How many times will I need to see my Periodontal Specialist?

    Following your initial consultation, your Specialist will discuss the treatment options available to you and will outline the stages involved. As part of your treatment plan, you will also need to see one of our hygienists on a regular basis, this is an essential part of the treatment success rate. Your specialist works closely with the hygienist to provide guidance and specific instruction in relation to your treatment. Your commitment to following the treatment plan and to maintaining good oral hygiene at home will ensure you achieve the best results.

  • Why should I consider Devonshire Place Dental Practice for my Periodontal treatment?

    At Devonshire Place Dental Practice we have two highly skilled and experienced Specialist Periodontists.

    Dr Nikolaos Tatarakis qualified as a dentist in 2005, he went on to complete a further 3 years of specialist training in Periodontology at the University of Michigan, USA. In 2011, Dr Tatarakis received a prestigious clinical and research scholarship by the International Team for Implantology and spent a year completing this scholarship at the Unit of Periodontology at the Eastman Dental Institute in London. During this time, he also completed the necessary examinations and became a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. From 2012-2016, Dr Tatarakis held Clinical Teaching and Research Associate positions at the Eastman Dental Institute, supervising graduate students and conducting clinical research. He is currently a staff member of the newly founded Centre for Oral Clinical Research of the Institute of Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London. Nikolas holds memberships of professional and educational associations in the area of periodontics and implants and lectures and publishes in these fields. His main research interests include diagnostics and management of peri-implant diseases.

    Mr Nick Lewis qualified with Honours at Newcastle University and undertook junior hospital posts at Newcastle Dental Hospital within the departments of Restorative Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial surgery and Child Dental Health, as well as working in general dental practice in the North East. He then moved to University College Hospital in 2003 and undertook his higher specialist training in restorative dentistry, including a Masters in Conservative Dentistry. He completed his intercollegiate specialty fellowship in Restorative Dentistry in 2008 and was appointed as a Consultant at UCLH in 2009.

    Mr Lewis also serves as the course director for the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (FGDP) Diploma in Restorative Dentistry at Royal College of Surgeons of England and also sits on the council of the Odontology section of the Royal Society of Medicine.

    Mr Lewis is a Specialist in five areas of dental health – Periodontics, Endodontics, Prosthodontics and Restorative Dentistry.

    Dr Tatarakis and Mr Lewis work closely with our fantastic team of experienced hygienists, Tara Taheri, Terza Fattah and Danuta Kuchta.

  • How is periodontal disease diagnosed?

    During your regular check-up, you may have noticed your dentist or hygienist calling out numbers and noting them on your dental records, this is known as ‘pocket probing’ or ‘charting’. Your dentist will carry out a periodontal examination to measure the depth of spaces ‘pockets’ between your teeth and gums, they will also check for signs of bleeding. Detection of bleeding and pockets of more than 4+ millimetres in depth are one way for your dentist to identify gingivitis or periodontitis.

  • Why has my general dentist recommended that I need to see a Specialist Periodontist?

    A Specialist Periodontist is a dentist who has received additional training and specialises in the care and treatment of the gums and bone surrounding the teeth. Your dentist may feel that you need to see a Specialist for your individual case of gum disease in order to receive the best possible treatment.

  • What treatment options may be available to me?

    Your Specialist may recommend a non-surgical procedure called scaling and root planing, also known as a “deep cleaning.” During a regular cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist will use special tools to scrape off the tartar and plaque from above and just below the gum line. In a “deep cleaning,” the dentist or hygienist scrapes the tartar and plaque (the scaling part) as in a regular cleaning, and they will also smooth the exposed tooth root surfaces (root planing) where the plaque and tartar form, to help get rid of the bacteria that contribute to periodontal disease.

    If non-surgical treatments are not effective or if the amount of bone loss is severe, periodontal surgery may be recommended. This treatment involves the surgical opening and later suturing of gum tissue in order to remove the tartar, plaque, bacteria, and diseased tissue from deep below the gum line. Once the periodontal disease is under control, your dentist or periodontist may recommend bone or tissue grafts in order to help regenerate any bone or gum tissue destroyed by periodontal disease. In this type of procedure, the dentist surgically places a small piece of mesh-like fabric or bone material between the bone and gum tissue. This fabric or bone material allows new bone and connective tissue to grow.

  • What happens after I receive treatment for periodontal disease?

    Your Specialist will prescribe an ongoing treatment plan to help prevent periodontal disease from recurring. This is known as “maintenance therapy.” The majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain dental health. As part of your maintenance therapy, you’ll have scheduled follow-up visits so your Specialist or Hygienist can remove any new tartar or plaque and to polish your teeth to prevent new disease from appearing. Your dentist may also prescribe at-home care such as mouth rinses or special toothpaste to help keep your teeth healthy.

Initial Consultation Fee – £200.

Duration – 1 Hour

During your consultation, your Specialist Periodontist will take an extra-oral and intra-oral X-rays and a detailed periodontal screening examination. This information allows the Specialist to decide whether any additional tests are required to recommend the best treatment plan. All aspects of the treatment options and associated cost will be clearly explained during your consultation. At this point, your Specialist can show you previous case-studies and results.

From this point, you will start your treatment journey as recommended by your Specialist. The full cost of Periodontal treatment will depend on the recommended treatment plan for your individual case. Treatment options can range from £330 – £1,500.

Following your initial consultation, your Specialist will discuss this with you in detail and provide recommended treatment options for you to consider.

We are an approved Dental Finance provider and offer Finance options for treatments costing over £1,000, which can be interest free for up to 12 months. If you choose to apply for this, an approval decision can be reached on the day of your appointment and includes a 14 day cancellation option.