What Does a Periodontist Do?

What Does a Periodontist Do?

July 1, 2022

Periodontists are specialists treating problems affecting your gums and the bones in your mouth.

The periodontist near you is, first and foremost, a dentist specializing in the prevention, diagnosis, and treating gum disease. They can also help you manage the symptoms of progressing gum problems like oral inflammation.

Gum disease occurs when the infection affects the tissue around your teeth and causes inflammation. The cause of the condition is plaque forming bacteria building up on your teeth and spreading below the gum line.

Gingivitis is the earlier stage of gum disease and is entirely preventable by maintaining your mouth and teeth clean and visiting your dentist frequently for cleanings. Unfortunately, if you develop an advanced gum disease called periodontitis, you may require extensive treatment. Periodontists best treat progressive gum disease.

When you visit periodontics near you with inflammation in your gums, they will review your dental and medical history. They also perform exams to determine the best treatment option. The treatment options can include surgical and nonsurgical methods.

Nonsurgical Periodontal Treatments

Nonsurgical periodontal treatments include scaling and root planing for plaque and tartar removal from deep under your gum line. These processes are sometimes accompanied by antibiotic or antimicrobial medicines depending on the severity of your infection.

Periodontists also prescribe a tray delivery system for you to use at home. Customized impressions of your teeth allow putting medication on the trays.

Surgical Therapies

Your gums begin to recede or pull back, exposing the tooth root to gingivitis and periodontitis. In such cases, the best periodontist in Houston can perform a gum graft where tissue is taken from your mouth to help the professional cover the receding gum line. A healthy gum line helps prevent tooth decay and reduce sensitivity and discomfort to improve your smile.

Alternative surgical treatments periodontists perform include:

  • Laser therapies.
  • Regenerative procedures encourage new bone and tissue growth.
  • Lengthening the dental crown by removing excess gum tissue.
  • Dental implants to hold replacement teeth or bridges.
  • Periodontal pocket reduction processes, alternatively called osseous surgery, limit the space around the tooth root where bacteria can accumulate.

While some procedures are specific for treating gum disease, procedures are available for cosmetic purposes because periodontists can offer plastic surgery services such as:

  • Fixing a gummy or uneven gum line by dental crown lengthening.
  • Gum grafts to decrease the appearance of longer teeth because of age-related recession or earlier gum disease.
  • Restoring the natural curve of the gums and jaw by performing ridge augmentation after replacing lost teeth with artificial teeth.

Qualifications of Periodontists

Periodontists start their education with dental school. They obtain a Doctor of dental surgery or medicine degree and continue specialized training after graduation. The entire process entails:

  • Four years in dental school.
  • Three-year residency in periodontics.
  • Written and oral exams to receive certification from the American Board of periodontology.

When Must You Consider Seeing a Periodontist?

Your general dentist can help treat some gum infections. However, if you have worsening and complex gum disease, making you susceptible to the risk of tooth loss, the dentist will refer you to a periodontist. If you observe symptoms of gum disease, see your general dentist to determine whether you need treatments from a periodontist.

The symptoms you might notice with gum disease include swollen and puffy gums, easily bleeding gums, bad breath, painful chewing, and receding gum line.

What Can You Expect from the Periodontist?

Expect the periodontist to inquire about your symptoms besides personal information such as health conditions and medications you take. After collecting your details, the professional will review your medical history to identify risk factors that might contribute to your symptoms. They also perform an oral exam checking for bleeding from your gums and plaque and tartar buildup. They will measure the gum pocket depth and take x-rays, checking for bone loss.

The tests help the periodontist create a personalized treatment plan for your situation. Antibiotics and a thorough cleaning often help control the initial stages of gum disease. Unfortunately, advanced cases might require surgery.

Your periodontist might recommend lifestyle changes and at-home treatments to keep the disease in check and prevent additional problems. The recommendations they provide include brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day or after every meal by using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Using an electric toothbrush helps fight plaque buildup. You might have to rinse with the specialist-recommended mouthwash and get frequent dental cleanings. If you smoke or chew tobacco, the specialist might recommend quitting the habit.

If you experience the symptoms of gum disease, Patrick V Nicosia provides excellent periodontal treatment in Houston. Kindly schedule an appointment with this professional today to arrest the condition affecting you right away.

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