Periodontics (gum specialist)
Periodontal disease affects the gums, bone and other supporting tissues of the teeth
Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Periodontitis (gum disease) causes damage to structures around the teeth, which include the gums and bone.
In the earliest stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, the infection affects the gums. In more severe forms of the disease, all of the tissues are involved resulting in the loss of the bone and gum supporting the teeth.
In recent years, gum disease has been linked to a number of other health problems including heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Meet Viren, our Periodontist
Dr Viren Vithlani
Alongside his private practice, Viren has worked as a specialty dentist and honorary research fellow at the prestigious Birmingham Dental Hospital managing patients with gum problems, teaching undergraduate dental students and treating patients on a referral basis. His involvement in research has been published internationally.
Viren works in general and specialist practice and has successfully completed his four year specialist training program in periodontics at King’s College, Guy’s Hospital London, passing with clinical distinction. He has a special interest in treating nervous patients with advanced gum disease, cosmetic root coverage for gum recession and regenerative periodontics.
Viren is passionate Periodontics and with his experience in cosmetic and restorative dentistry he is able to use advanced technology and skills to provide only the very best for his patients.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in dental plaque, the sticky substance that forms on your teeth a couple of hours after you have brushed. If oral hygiene slips or dental visits become irregular, plaque builds up on the teeth and it forms a harder substance known as calculus. Eventually it can spread below the gum line.
In susceptible individuals, this leads to swollen, bleeding gums, signs of gingivitis (the earliest stage of periodontal disease) and as the gums before more swollen they detach from the tooth forming a ‘pocket’ encouraging further plaque accumulation. This may result loosening of the teeth, a sign of severe periodontitis (the advanced stage of disease).
Periodontal Disease Treatment
During your first visit, Dr Vithlani will:
- Review your general health, medical history and lifestyle
- Complete a full mouth assessment and a comprehensive gum examination (to determine the depth of the pockets) and to see if any teeth are loose
- X-rays may be taken as necessary
- He will produce a report of findings and discuss these with you and your referring dentist
- Offer and discuss treatment options including costs
Risks and Prevention
Although bacterial plaque buildup is the main cause of periodontal disease, several other factors, including other diseases, medications and oral habits, also can contribute. These are factors that can increase your risk of gum disease or make it worse once the infection has set in.
Having a genetic susceptibility, however, doesn't mean gum disease is inevitable. Even people who are highly prone to periodontal disease because of their genetic make-up can prevent or control the disease with good oral care.
Smoking and tobacco use
Smoking increases the risk of periodontal disease and the longer, and more one smokes, the higher the risk. Smoking restricts the blood flow to the gums and soft tissues in the mouth which can affect the body’s immune response to the bacteria and healing. Quitting smoking can play a major role in bringing periodontal disease under control.
Misaligned or crowded teeth, braces or bridgework
Anything that makes it more difficult to brush or floss your teeth
Grinding, or clenching of the teeth
These habits won't cause periodontal disease, but they can lead to more severe disease if inflammation is already present.
medications may cause the gums to enlarge, which in turn makes them more likely to trap plaque.
Certain diseases increase susceptibility to periodontal diseases for example uncontrolled diabetes.