May is National Dental Care Awareness Month! This month we’re going to take a look at some different types of specialized dental care. Just like any other kind of doctor, dentists have specialties. One of those specialties is periodontics. But what is periodontics? Periodontics is the treatment of periodontal disease, which is anything that affects the structures surrounding or supporting your teeth. A periodontist treats gum disease and oral inflammation and places dental implants. So if you need periodontics in MA, come to Smile Boutique! Dr. Kim will evaluate your oral health and examine your teeth to determine what treatment you need to get your mouth healthy again.
Here’s an overview of what periodontists look for and what treatments they provide.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria in your mouth cause an infection below your gum line. More than half of American adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease. For most people, it is very mild and can be treated by a general dentist. But for moderate to severe cases, it is best to see a periodontist and your dentist will most likely refer you to one. Signs of moderate to severe periodontal disease are:
- Swollen or receding gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Change in your bite
- Loose or sensitive teeth
- Pain in or around your gums
Preventative Periodontal Care
Even if you don’t have symptoms of periodontal disease, your dentist may refer you to one anyway because of your medical history. Extensive research shows links between heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. So if you have a personal or family history of any of these conditions, it’s a good idea to see a periodontist to keep ahead of any signs of early periodontal disease. Smoking also increases your risk of developing advanced periodontal disease.
If periodontal disease progresses far enough, there are certain procedures a periodontist can perform to treat it.
- Scaling and root planing – The periodontist removes plaque, tartar, and material toxins from the infected surfaces of your teeth.
- Root surface debridement – In this procedure, the periodontist removes damaged root tissue from your mouth.
- Gum graft surgery – The periodontist takes gum tissue from your palate to repair receding gums and cover exposed roots. It also prevents any further gum recession or bone loss.
- Periodontal pocket reduction procedures – As periodontal disease destroys supporting tissue and bone, pockets form around your teeth. Because bacteria live in these pockets, they can cause bone and tissue loss. Consequently, bone loss will require tooth extraction. After a tooth extraction, a periodontist can also do put in a dental implant.
Periodontics in MA from Smile Boutique
If your dentist has referred you to a periodontist or you have any of the symptoms or risk factors for periodontal disease, come to Smile Boutique! Contact us to learn more about periodontics in MA or to book an appointment.