Dentistry is the branch of medicine concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of tooth and jaw bone illnesses. Periodontics, a dentistry subspecialty, is a subspecialty of dentistry. Periodontics is concerned with diagnosing and treating gingivitis, periodontitis, and other problems affecting the soft tissues surrounding the teeth. To understand periodontics better, you might want to look at this article.
What Is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a specialized dentist who treats periodontal, or gum, disease. They are specially trained to diagnose and treat conditions and diseases affecting gums, teeth, and other oral cavity structures. They may also be referred to as specialists in periodontology or as oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Periodontists can treat many dental issues, but the most common ones they handle are periodontal disease and dental implants.
Periodontal disease begins with gum tissue being infected by bacteria. Left untreated, this inflames the tissue and causes a buildup of plaque. When it continues to be untreated, it hardens and forms a substance called calculus or tartar. This causes the gums to begin pulling away from the teeth, leaving pockets of space. These pockets allow more bacteria to enter and create more inflammation. This is when it becomes periodontal disease. While some cases can be treated nonsurgically with special toothpaste or dental laser therapy, others require surgery to reattach the gums to the teeth.
Dental implants are one option for replacing lost teeth. They can replace a single tooth or several absent teeth together. They are also often used to help anchor dentures in place of denture adhesive. Although they are more expensive than other options, dental implants are a long-term option that are more secure and easier to care for than other choices. There are several types of implants and many ways to place them. Your periodontist will be able to assess how much bone you have and determine which implant option or options are best for you.
What Is Soft Tissue and Why Is It Important?
Soft tissue is the gums and other tissues around the teeth, and it is very important. These tissues help with chewing, maintaining oral hygiene, and ensuring that your teeth and jaws function properly. Certain companies, like Brandywine Dental Services Group, know that the gums are pink, soft, blood-rich tissue covering the bone around the teeth. They help hold the teeth in place by covering the teeth’s roots and creating a seal around it. Gums also assist with wound healing, preventing bacteria from entering the rest of the body, and providing nutrients to your teeth.
How Do You Know If You Need a Periodontal Evaluation?
Your dentist will usually refer you to a periodontist based on symptoms they notice during your annual exam. However, you can request a referral if you notice symptoms between exams, such as:
- Bleeding gums – Bleeding gums can often be an early symptom of gum disease. You should contact your dentist if you notice bleeding while brushing or flossing.
- Sensitive gums – While sensitivity to hot or cold in the teeth indicates a cavity, it indicates a bacterial infection that can lead to gum disease in the gums.
- Loose teeth – Teeth that are loose or feel like they are shifting in your mouth may indicate gum loss, which can mean more advanced gum disease.
- Discolored teeth – When bacteria irritates the gums, it can also cause the tooth to become discolored.
- Bad breath – Gum bacteria can cause bad breath. It can also travel throughout the body and cause other problems, including heart problems.
It’s critical to take care of your gums and teeth. They are the foundation of good oral health. The best way to care for your dental health is by practicing proper oral hygiene and seeing your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist for a referral to a periodontist if you’re concerned about periodontal disease. The sooner it is diagnosed and treated, the better.