Wilmington's Smile Design Center
Broadly speaking, a periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum diseases. They’re also experts in dental implants, and everything that helps connect your teeth to your body!
Who Needs a Periodontist?
Adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases than from cavities, and three out of four adults are affected by gum disease at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal diseases is by daily, thorough tooth brushing and flossing techniques and regular professional examinations and cleanings.
Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress, and failing to intervene early enough can make it much harder to fight the disease. The most common kinds of gum disease (periodontitis) include gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum at the neck of the teeth (the area between the root and crown). If the cause of gingivitis isn’t dealt with properly, the symptoms could spread and infect other parts of your tooth, leading to a periodontal disease. However, it is possible to reverse gingivitis with a proper oral hygiene regimen.
Periodontitis is any disease that affects the bone and tissues of the teeth, and are particularly dangerous because of their ability to progress and cause chronic periodontal issues which lead to the loss of teeth. While there are many types of periodontitis, the most common include:
- Aggressive periodontitis – occurs in patients who are otherwise healthy
- Chronic periodontitis – the most common form of periodontitis
- Periodontitis caused by systemic diseases – often occurs at a young age, and is often related to heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease
- Necrotizing periodontal disease – is the necrosis of gum tissue, periodontal ligament, or alveolar bone
When is Periodontic Treatment Necessary?
Periodontal treatment is necessary when various conditions affect the health of your gums and the regions of your jawbone that hold your teeth in place. Because there are so many kinds of gum disease to watch out for, the symptoms can vary greatly. To know if you need to see a periodontist, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums, or gums pulling away from the teeth
- Loose teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Change in bite
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, please contact us
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
- Tobacco usage
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
Common procedures performed by a periodontist include:
- Gum graft surgery
- Crown lengthening
- Dental implants
- Gum scaling
- Root planing
Do Your Oral Hygiene Habits Affect Your Family?
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