A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the soft tissues of the mouth and the underlying jawbone, which supports the teeth. A dentist must first graduate from dental school before undertaking an additional 3 years of study within a periodontology residency training program, in order to qualify as a periodontist.
Our Periodontist practices a full scope of periodontics with expertise ranging from cosmetic periodontal surgery to gum grafting and crown lengthening.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease affects 75% of adults throughout their lifetime, claiming the majority of teeth in adults aged 35 and over. Periodontal diseases are ongoing infections of the gums that gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth.
Bacterial plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing periodontal pockets to form along the tooth. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.
The early stages of periodontal diseases are best treated with non-surgical periodontal therapy.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Before initiating any dental treatment, our periodontist will thoroughly examine the gums, supporting bone and general condition of the teeth.
Gingivitis and mild periodontal disease – When the gum pockets exceed 4mm in depth, the periodontist or hygienist may perform scaling and root planing to remove debris from the pockets and allow them to heal. Education and advice will be provided on an effective cleaning regimen thereafter. You may also begin having periodontal cleanings more frequently to maintain treatment results.
Moderate periodontal disease – If the gum pockets reach 4-6mm in depth, a more extensive scaling and root planning cleaning might be required. Depending on the extent or severity of the disease, and your past treatment history, surgical treatment may be the most effective treatment for moderate periodontal disease.
Advanced periodontal disease – Gum pockets in excess of 6-7mm are usually accompanied by bone loss and gum recession. Generally, scaling and root planing will be performed in conjunction with surgical treatment of advanced periodontal disease. A variety of corrective procedures are available for treatment of advanced periodontal disease. At the completion of an initial examination, a treatment plan customized for your specific needs will be developed for you.
Periodontal Surgical Procedures that can help those with periodontal disease
- Scaling and Root Planning
- Pocket Reduction Surgery (Osseous Surgery)
- Gingival (gum) Grafting
- Crown Lengthening
- Periodontal Maintenance
Signs and Symptoms
It is very important to note that periodontal disease can progress without any signs or symptoms such as pain. This is why regular dental checkups are exceptionally important. Described below are some of the most common signs and symptoms of periodontitis.
If you have any of these signs or symptoms, please make an appointment with our office as soon as possible:
- Bleeding while eating or brushing
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth and gum recession (longer-looking teeth)
- Pain, redness or swelling
Please call us at 248-642-3800 if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.