The name periodontist derives from the Greek, perio meaning ‘around’, and dontic, meaning ‘tooth’. A periodontist specializes in the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease, which affects the gums, bone and soft tissues of the mouth.
Your gums are the foundations of your teeth, providing a sound, underpinning for healthy teeth. Under normal circumstances, your dentist and hygienist will monitor and help you maintain healthy gums, by providing the best information and instructions on how to reach all areas that need attention when brushing and cleaning. During your six monthly check-up with the dentist, and cleaning with the hygienist, they will ensure your gums are healthy, intact, and serving your teeth well, to provide a stable and firm hold on each tooth. Any early indications of gum disease will be addressed at your dental office, but for cases where gum disease may be present or advancing, you will be referred to a periodontist for specialized treatment to remedy the issue.
A periodontist covers a wide range of treatments, focusing on the gum, and outsides of the teeth. Their treatments allay the need for more invasive procedures, such as root canal. Periodontists remove infected and damaged tissue from the teeth and roots, to restore the tooth to a healthy state and enable the gums to successfully perform their function of supporting the teeth. Periodontists are skilled in treating the tooth and root surfaces, as well as performing surgical treatments to address the effects of gum disease. Peridontists can also provide cosmetic treatments, to correct the appearance of gum recession, and other conditions that can lead to a diminished appearance of teeth.
Beyond preventative treatments, to stop the onset of gum diseases and infection spreading inside the tooth, periodontists are specialists in fitting, maintaining, and repairing dental implants.
A trip to the periodontist is usually scheduled through your regular dentist, after they have performed an examination, and deemed it necessary for you to receive specialized treatment for the problem in question. Signs you may need periodontal treatment, include:
· Sore gums; redness and/or inflammation
· Unpleasant taste or odor emanating from the mouth
· Loose teeth
· Discomfort when chewing
· Receding gums
Each of these symptoms can be a sign that the next stage your oral health reaches may require more intensive treatment, and potentially, that you will likely experience heightened awareness of these issues, and increased sensitivity, even intense pain. Failure to address any of these warning signals, almost always leads to the need for more intensive, and costly treatment down the line.
If you are committed to a regular routine of effective brushing and flossing is the best way to avoid costly dental treatments. This coupled with regular check-ups and cleaning with the hygienist, will ensure that any little issues detected, don’t turn into big ones.