What is a gum specialist, and do I need to see one?
What is a gum specialist?
A gum specialist is a dentist who has undergone an immense amount of training in the field of periodontics (periodontology) which involves the study of gums and the supporting tissues around a tooth like the bone. In order to be called a specialist the dentist must be on the specialist registered list at the General Dental Council.
Why do I need to see a specialist?
If you have gum problems then the absolutely best person to be treated by is a specialist. They will understand how to diagnose and treat your specific problem appropriately. A specialist will be able to get you better outcomes which may mean different things to different people, however the result and success of treatment will always be better than doing nothing. The possible outcomes could include:
- The reduction of bleeding gums
Bleeding gums are a big sign that you have gum disease. They bleed, not just because you a brushing them, but because they are inflamed and there is a disease process going on. Healthy gums don’t bleed and this is one of the outcomes we would hope to achieve.
- Getting your teeth to last longer
You may have really mobile (wobbly) teeth and your aims may be to keep them for as long as possible. You may not want dentures or be ready for dental implants and so wish to hold onto your teeth for as long as possible. This can be achieved in many circumstances and the studies show that specialist treatment will lead to a longer survival rate of your teeth.
- Being able to keep your teeth
This is one of the biggest reasons people come to see us – they want to be able to keep their teeth! And why not? Teeth are really important!!
In the majority of cases of where people loose teeth due to gum disease, if the patient would have seen a specialist gum dentist (also known as a periodontist) they probably would have been able to keep their teeth. Gum disease is the biggest cause of tooth loss and it is a very treatable and preventable disease. If everyone knew how much money each tooth in their head actually costs they would be sure to look after them extremely well. To put it bluntly – if you replace each tooth with a dental implant it would cost around £2,000. Now multiply that by 32 and you get a very big figure. That’s why if you have gum disease and you want to save your teeth it’s a good investment to explore gum treatments.
- The removal of bad breath
Bad breath is a big turn off and a social no-no. If you think you have bad breath then you should see a periodontist as it’s likely that you have gum disease. A periodontist will be able to treat your gum disease and restore your mouth back to a healthy state.
- Treatment of receding gums
This may worry you for two reasons. Firstly; receding gums often result in poor cosmetics especially if you have something called a high smile line and secondly you may be worried that the loss of gum tissue may cause future loss of teeth. Both of these issues is something that a gum specialist (periodontist) will be the best person to treat these issues. A general dentist would often need to refer you to a gum specialist to fix a problem like this.
- Drifting teeth
Gum disease causes problems with the loss of the supporting structures of the teeth. These vital structures actually keep the teeth stable and prevent them from moving. When you have bone and attachment loss your teeth may begin to drift which invariably results in poor cosmetics. We have had many patients come to see us with gum disease and they said they used to have a completely perfect straight smile and now its crooked. This is almost always caused by gum disease so if you notice your teeth moving and drifting out then see a specialist straight away – if it’s left it’s harder to treat.
Which gum specialist should I see?
Dr Mish Sachdev is an incredibly gifted periodontist and has successfully treated thousands of patients. He holds talks on a monthly basis training local dentists in Croydon and is very well respected in the dental community. He has received referrals from dozens of local dentists in London specifically for patients hoping to save their teeth. To read his full profile visit his page by clicking here.
Do I need a referral from my dentist?
Although we accept referrals from many local dentists you can book directly in with Dr Mish Sachdev. He also offers a free consultation so that you get to meet him for an informal chat before embarking on any treatment.
How long does it take to cure my gum disease?
This will depend on many factors and it can range from anything a quick as a couple of months to up to a year. Some of it depends on you doing your bit at home, like following oral hygiene instructions and the cessation of smoking. Other health related factors including poorly controlled diabetes can cause havoc with your gums as well and this will all be discussed when you come and see us.