A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating periodontal disease. They possess the tools and techniques needed to diagnose and treat this disease, as well as prevent it from occurring at all. It’s common that you might be affected by some level of periodontal disease in your lifetime. The best way to monitor your gums and other structures surrounding your teeth is with routine checkups. Without proper care, the risk of developing a serious case of periodontal disease can become a reality. Our specialists are leaders in periodontal care and can treat periodontal disease of any severity.
What Is Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease isn’t always taken as seriously as it should be. At Seabreeze Dental, we want every patient to be familiar with the disease and its symptoms. Put simply, periodontal disease are infections that affect the tooth’s supporting structures like the bone and gums.
Periodontal disease occurs in four stages.
Stage 1 is the beginning stage of periodontitis. This is treated with limited scaling in office with one of our hygienist. Stage 1 is reversible if diagnosed and treated early enough.
Stages 2 is when the disease has advanced causing bone loss and gum resorption. This is treated with non-surgical periodontal gum therapy. Periodontal disease is not curable and needs to be maintained with more frequent maintenance cleanings after scaling.
Stages 3 advances to surgical periodontal gum therapy treated by our in-house specialist.
Stage 4 has advance to loss of the patient’s tooth making periodontal disease the number one cause of tooth loss.
Symptoms of periodontal disease include red, swollen or tender gums, bleeding, sores, and gum recession or separation from the teeth. Gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease, but not always. Many cases are a result of a lack of proper care for the teeth, including bad brushing, flossing and irregular dental visits. Also, those with compromised immune systems are more at risk for developing periodontal disease.
Once diagnosed with periodontal disease, proper treatment is essential heal your smile and to prevent further damage. The severity of your case will help determine what treatment path is a good match for you. We always prefer to start with a non-surgical approach, but have the expertise and tools needed to surgically treat advanced cases.
Scaling and root planning are essentially a deep tooth cleaning. Our periodontist will clean any affected teeth to remove tartar build up. Cleaning beneath the gum line is also important since periodontal disease is present where we can’t always see.
In more advanced cases involved gum recession, gum grafting might be a great solution. Gum grafting is a procedure that involves added tissue to areas of the gums that are experiencing tissue loss or recession.
Bone grafting is a remedy for bone loss due to periodontal disease. A dentist will attach bone grafts in the jaw to repair spaces that have deteriorated over time to strengthen the area to aid recovery.
Periodontal Plastic Surgery
Advanced periodontal disease may affect the appearance of your gums and teeth. Periodontal specialists can help restore your smile using certain plastic surgery procedures to fix the areas of your mouth that have been altered by the disease.
Crown lengthening is a procedure that removes excess gum to expose more of the underlying tooth. If a tooth is damaged below the gum line, this treatment will remove enough tissue to expose the area to allow proper treatment.
Untreated periodontal disease can sometimes result in the loss of a tooth. In these cases, permanent dental implants are a great option to restore your health and to create a confident smile.
Osseous surgery is performed usually when an area hasn’t responded to other treatments. It involves lifting away the gums to deep clean the roots and other underlying structures of the teeth.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
You may be wondering how you can keep your mouth free of periodontal disease or what steps you should take after treatment to keep it from coming back. You can help prevent periodontal disease using methods you’re already familiar with like brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash. Other factors like alcohol consumption and tobacco use can increase your chances of developing this disease.
Many patients have anxiety about upcoming dental appointments. To help our procedures go smoothly, we offer IV sedation to reduce anxiety and help eradicate any fear surrounding the dentist. If you are interested in IV sedation or have any questions or concerns, contact our office today!