Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases affecting the supporting structures of the teeth. The supporting tissues, called the periodontium, include gingiva (gums), alveolar bone, and cementum. A periodontist is concerned with these issues as they relate to oral health and their effects on the systemic health of patients.
Periodontists have completed four years of additional training after dental school and are licensed by state dental boards to perform more advanced procedures than dentists.
Treatments and Procedures
Periodontists perform the same procedures as other dentists, such as fillings and crowns. The primary focus of treatment by a periodontist, though, is gum disease treatment. Many other conditions fall under this specialty. These include:
- Gum Disease. Periodontal disease occurs with inflammation of the gums around your teeth. You can lose your tooth and even get heart disease when left untreated.
- Oral Cancer Screening. Oral cancer begins in the cells lining your mouth and throat, which can cause lumps or lesions on your gums or inside your cheek. It is essential to get regular screenings to catch these cancers before they spread beyond the mouth to be treated successfully.
- Gingivitis (early-stage gum disease). Gum disease is a severe condition that can lead to tooth loss and other serious health issues. The first signs of gum disease are usually pain or bleeding when brushing or flossing. Unfortunately, most people do not know they have gum disease until the damage is done.
- Periodontal Abscesses (infected pockets around a tooth). When plaque builds up on your teeth, you may develop periodontal disease. The bacteria in the plaque produce toxins that irritate the gums, causing them to swell and bleed easily. Over time, this inflammation can damage the tissues supporting your teeth. When this happens, you have a higher risk of losing your teeth.
- Periodontitis (advanced stage of periodontal disease). Periodontal disease occurs when plaque accumulates under the gum line and causes inflammation that destroys the tooth’s attachment to the bone. This process can occur slowly over the years or all at once, depending on the severity of your case.
- Scaling and Root Planing. This procedure removes plaque buildup between teeth and under the gum line with special instruments. It also smoothens rough spots on your root surfaces so bacteria cannot attach there.
- Gum Surgery. This procedure removes inflamed tissue from around teeth that have already lost some attachment because of periodontal disease. The goal is to prevent further damage from occurring. Your periodontist may use laser surgery or a scalpel to reduce inflammation or remove excess tissue.
Contact North County Dental Care
It is essential to visit a dentist immediately when you suspect a gum infection before the condition worsens. Gum disease may cause tooth loss if left untreated. The best course of action is to receive treatment from a periodontist at North County dental care and Orthodontics. Our North County dental care and orthodontics periodontist has been practicing for over 30 years and specializes in treating gum disease and other mouth disorders. Our office is located in Vista, California, and serves patients from all over the San Diego area. Send us an email at [email protected] or call us at 760-940-4266 and book an appointment today.