Advanced Gum Disease May Require a Periodontist
Taking care of your teeth and gums is important. It’s why your hygienist and dentist stress proper brushing techniques, flossing, and regular dental checkups.
But if your dental hygiene faulters, and you find yourself not taking proper care of your teeth and gums, you could find yourself among the 64.7 million Americans who suffer from periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.
Gum disease has three stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. As the disease progresses, the symptoms you experience become more and more serious.
If gum disease is allowed to progress, and you reach the stage of advanced periodontitis (advanced gum disease), you can find that the tissue and bones holding your teeth in place are destroyed. You may find that your teeth are loose and may need to be removed.
At this point, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. A periodontist is also an expert in the placement of dental implants.
A periodontist can work to treat advanced gum disease in several different ways – depending on how advanced it truly is.
The periodontist may suggest scaling and root planing, in which the plaque and tartar are scraped off your teeth and root surfaces. Then the roots are smoothed out in hopes of preventing further plaque buildup.
If the gum tissues do not return to a snug position on your teeth after scaling and root planing, you may need surgical intervention.
Periodontal reduction surgery (flap surgery) may be the next step. Gum grafts may be needed if roots are visible due to gum recession. Or, even bone grafting if your jaw has experienced bone loss due to advanced gum disease.
Gum disease is a serious issue, and if not tackled early on, can have serious consequences for your dental health. The good news is, when discovered and treated early, it can be stopped. Proper brushing, flossing, regular dental checkups, and using products designed to combat gum disease, such as Perfect Smile Oral Care products, can help you keep your mouth healthy.