Periodontics is a branch of dentistry concerned with the study and treatment of the supporting structures of the teeth, as well as the study of conditions and diseases that affect them. Essentially, a periodontist is a dentist who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating periodontal disease.
Who Needs Periodontics?
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. Gum disease is a chronic bacterial infection, and without proper treatment, it can damage the bone that surrounds your teeth.
What Is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease refers to an infection of the gums and surrounding tissues. There are several types of periodontal disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis. Both of these conditions can lead to major dental issues and tooth damage.
Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease. It is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily. Gingivitis can be resolved with professional cleanings, improved oral hygiene, and quitting smoking. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a serious form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, the gums begin to recede from the teeth and form pockets of bacteria. These bacteria can then lead to inflammation, which results in further infection. Eventually, the teeth can become loose or fall out.
What Are The Symptoms of Gum Disease?
The major symptoms of gum disease are the following:
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Deep pockets between teeth and gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
Scaling and root planing is one way that periodontists treat periodontal disease. Scaling is the removal of the plaque, tartar, and biofilm from the teeth and root surfaces. Root planing is the process of smoothing the root surfaces and removing any remaining bacteria. Scaling and root planing is recommended for mild to moderate cases of periodontitis.
Sometimes, the periodontist will suggest bone grafting. This dental procedure is used to rebuild bone and gum tissue. The periodontist removes a small amount of bone and tissue from the patient’s jaw or from a donor and transplants it into the affected area.
How To Prevent Gum Disease?
First and foremost, it’s important to maintain your oral health routine. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss every night. You should also visit the dentist every six months for teeth cleanings and examinations.
If you smoke or use tobacco products, quitting is your best defense against gum disease. Smoking weakens your immune system and leaves you more prone to infection.
To learn more about the dental services offered by Azalea Road Dental, call Dentist in Mobile, AL at (251) 666-1310 or schedule an appointment online.