A periodontist is a dentist, or dental professional, who has gone through an additional three years of education beyond standard dental schooling, to specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of gum disease. In addition, they are able to perform a broad range of treatments, both cosmetic and restorative, including scaling and root planing, in which roots that are infected can be cleaned, and root surface debridement where damaged tissues are removed. Periodontists are also extensively trained in the application, upkeep, and repair of dental implants.
According to studies, over 47% of adults (over the age of 30) in the United States suffer from a form of gum disease. Typically a family dentist will be able to treat early symptoms of oral issues, including gum disease, however, for more advanced problems a periodontist is more equipped to assist. In case you are unsure if your specific oral issue requires a trip to your family dentist or should be looked at by a more experienced hand, here are a few signs to look for:
- You have swollen red, or bleeding gums. While flossing you may notice that gums tend to bleed if they are not tended to regularly. However, if you do floss every day (good for you!) and you notice that your gums are experiencing a higher rate of blood, or have become swollen, seeking the input of a periodontist would be in your best interest.
- Your gums are receding. Gums will naturally recede over time, but they should not be noticeable. This could be a sign of advanced gum recession and should be looked at by a periodontist.
- Your teeth feel loose. Noticing your teeth wiggling a bit could be your imagination, but consulting with a periodontist can help determine if it may be an early sign of gum disease, thinning bones, or a more serious infection.
- A change in your bite. Detecting a difference in your teeth while talking, chewing/ biting, or even brushing is not something to ignore. These diverse patterns may lead to specific issues and if not treated properly could result in long-term problems.
- Experiencing pain and discomfort. While any toothache can usually be traced back to a specific area, pain and discomfort within, underneath, or around your gums could be a symptom of a larger and more serious health issue. Consult with your dentist right away to help determine if there is a larger problem.
Typically the first visit to a periodontist will result in reviewing the patient’s medical and dental history. They will then examine the gums, if any recession of the gum lines is happening, assess the placement of teeth with biting, and check if any teeth are loose. A small instrument, known as a probe, may be used to help measure the space between the teeth and gums to help assess the health of gums.
Oral health is extremely important to take care of. If you believe you need to seek the consultation of a Kissimmee endodontist for any periodontics issues, schedule an appointment with the expert team at Mark Dryer, DMD today.