A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the treatment of serious gum infections. These doctors train in addition to dental school to develop the skills needed to treat issues with gum tissue. If you are having major issues with your gums, you might need to see a periodontist for treatment. Here are some things you need to know:
How Do You Know if You Have Periodontal Disease?
There are some symptoms that indicate you have trouble with your gums. Normal occasional bleeding when you brush your teeth is normally not a cause for concern. Many people deal with this each day. However, if you have excessive bleeding of the gum tissue each time you brush your teeth, eat, or for no apparent reason at all, you likely have a more severe issue with your gums. Poor breath, receding gums, and loose teeth are other key indicators of serious periodontal infection. Pockets of pus on the gum tissue indicate a serious, painful infection that is due to periodontal disease. If you do not have these issues treated, you risk further infection to other parts of your body, including your heart and bones.
What Types of Periodontal Disease Do You Have?
There are several types of periodontal disease you might have. The severity of periodontal disease varies. Milder forms of periodontal disease are known as gingivitis. Many people have gingivitis, and it is easily treatable and reversible. The first step is to scale the gums to remove excess plaque and tartar buildup in the pockets of the gums. If this bacteria sits on the teeth and gum tissue for a long time, the tissue will become inflamed. Your gums will be bright red and swollen. After scaling, you will continue on with a treatment plan at home that includes daily brushing and flossing. You might also be advised to rinse your mouth daily with an antibacterial mouth rinse to help keep the gums free of infection.
If the gingivitis is severe, it is considered a moderate form of periodontal disease. This occurs when the gums are especially receded, and you have serious tartar buildup. Scaling needs to take place to get rid of the tartar. It can be uncomfortable, so the doctor might advise you to undergo local anesthesia to remove it.
Severe or advanced periodontal disease occurs when you have significantly receded gums along with bone loss and loose or lost teeth. You will need scaling to remove debris, but you might also need root planing initially to treat the disease. If you have major bone loss, you will need a bone graft to restore the bone structure. Once your bone density is restored, you can replace lost teeth with dental implants or dentures.
Periodontal disease is a health issue that must be treated as such, so speak with your dentist if you are having any issues with your gums.