A periodontist is a dental specialist that specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease that affects the gums and jawbone. The gum tissues serve to surround and support the teeth and the underlying jawbone anchors teeth firmly in place.
A Periodontist has completed a few years of extra dental training beyond dental school, and is concerned with maintaining the function, health, and aesthetics of the jawbone and tissues.
Reasons for periodontal treatment
Periodontal disease (periodontitis) is a progressive condition which begins with gum inflammation called gingivitis. It progresses to soft tissue attachment and bone loss. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults living in the developed world and should be taken very seriously.
Periodontal disease (often called gum disease) is typically signified by red, swollen, painful, or bleeding gums, but in some cases has no noticeable symptoms.
There are several reasons why periodontal treatment may be necessary:
- Active Periodontal Disease – This occurs when the gums are bleeding, swollen or red around the teeth and the bone around the teeth is progressively being lost.
- Gum Recession – Gum recession may be caused due to over brushing with a hard bristle brush, or due to a tooth that is not positioned properly. A change in habits, and treatment, is required to prevent further loss of tissue.
- Crown Lengthening – When decay is advanced and deep in the tooth, the dentist may lengthen the crown of the tooth by removing surrounding hard and soft tissue to provide more tooth length. A crown placed too deeply and close to the bone, will always be irritating to the surrounding tissue.
In the case of mild/moderate periodontal problems, the focus of the dentist will be on curing the underlying bacterial infection and then providing advice on the most appropriate home cleaning methods.
Sometimes scaling and root planning, a ”deep cleaning”, is needed to remove the bacterial plaque and calculus (tartar) from the teeth and tissues.
Where periodontal disease is advanced and the jawbone has regressed significantly, a more intensive cleaning may be recommended and loose teeth that cannot be saved may have to be removed.
Our dentist is trained in many aspects of dental implant procedures, which can restore functionality to the mouth when teeth have been lost due to periodontitis.
Because periodontal disease is progressive, it is essential to remove the bacteria and calculus build up to halt the spread of the infection. Your dentist will be happy to advise you on effective cleaning methods and treatment options.