Periodontist is quite a mouthful to say and to anyone who isn’t a dentist they may find it hard to make heads or tails of what this means. It’s all Greek, literally. So let’s break it down: the ‘peri’ part is Greek for around, while ‘odous’ is Greek for the tooth. So a periodontist deals with what is around the tooth. This means the gums, bones, ligaments and other tissues that support the teeth.
In practical terms, a periodontist in Perth, such as at Elite Perio, has extensive skills and knowledge that can help patients deal with gum disease and, in some cases, also help them overcome tooth loss with dental implant treatment.
All above board
Patients can check whether their dentist is legally registered as a periodontist in Perth by searching for their name or registration number on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency website. Here they’ll be able to find out when their periodontist qualified as a dentist and then as a periodontist.
With this knowledge, patients can rest assured that their periodontist has undergone all the relevant training and passed the required exams to practice this special branch of dentistry.
The most common dental health issue that a periodontist in Perth helps patients with is gum disease. Gum disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth that feed off food debris. The bacteria release acids that irritate the gums and if they go unchecked this can result in the gums becoming inflamed.
In its early stages gum disease is known as gingivitis, which patients may notice as red, sore, swollen or bleeding gums. The gums will eventually start to shrink back from the teeth. As gum disease gets worse, it turns into periodontitis, where the tissues that support the teeth become affected. Bone loss can occur, which can make the teeth start to wobble and shift positions. This can eventually lead to tooth loss.
A periodontist in Perth can treat gum disease by removing the harmful bacteria using special cleaning equipment. They will then monitor the patient over 8-12 weeks to make sure the gums are re-attaching to the teeth. If this doesn’t happen, the periodontist can carry out surgery to help the gums re-attach.