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What is a Periodontist and When You Need To See One

A periodontist is a dentist specializing in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infections of the soft tissues surrounding the teeth and the jawbone that anchors the teeth. Periodontists must complete an additional three years of training after completing four years of conventional dentistry school and are trained in the most current procedures for treating periodontal disease and placing dental implants. Periodontists also conduct a wide range of aesthetic operations to magnify a person's smile.


If you notice any of these below-mentioned signs or symptoms, you should make an appointment with a periodontist as soon as possible.


Bad breath

If your foul breath persists despite regular oral care, it's time to make an appointment. Gum disease is frequently preceded by persistent bad breath.


Bleeding gums

This is a sign that your gum tissue is being irritated and inflamed by high plaque buildup. Gum bleeding is most common in the early stages of gum disease and is usually totally reversible with the proper treatment.


Receding gums

Gum recession occurs when the gums pull back from the top of the tooth, which is most typically caused by gum disorders such as gingivitis and periodontitis. On the other hand, a receding gum line, if left untreated by a periodontist, will expose the tooth's base, leaving it vulnerable to bacterial infection. Adult tooth loss occurs as a result of advanced stages of recession.


Sensitivity to temperature

A receding gum line is a slow process that many people are unaware of for years. For example, suppose you notice an increase in sensitivity to extremely hot or cold foods. In that case, the recession may have proceeded to the point where the roots of your teeth are exposed and susceptible to infection.


Loose teeth

This is a marker of advanced gum disease. If any of your teeth become loose, you should schedule a periodontal appointment as soon as possible to avoid tooth loss.


Diagnosis and Treatment

The periodontist must thoroughly check the teeth, gums, jawbone, and overall condition before beginning any dental therapy. When gingivitis or periodontal disease is detected, the periodontist has various surgical and nonsurgical methods to treat the underlying infection, stop soft tissue recession, and reconstruct or replace teeth that are missing.


Gingivitis/mild periodontal disease

When gum pockets are deeper than 4mm, a periodontist or hygienist may use scaling and root planing to remove debris and let the pockets heal. Following that, your periodontist will supply advice on how to maintain an effective cleaning routine.


Moderate periodontal disease

If the gum pockets reach a length of 4-6mm, a more thorough scaling and root planing cleaning may be necessary. This procedure is usually done with a local anesthetic.


Advanced periodontal disease

Gum pockets of more than 6-7mm are generally accompanied by bone loss and gum recession in advanced periodontal disease. The initial nonsurgical therapy will always be scaling and root planing. The periodontist may propose surgery to reduce pocket depth in addition to nonsurgical procedures.


Tooth loss

Dental implants are a good choice if one or more teeth are lost due to periodontal disease. The implant can be put if the bone is strong enough to offer a suitable anchor for the prosthetic tooth. If the bone has significantly deteriorated, the periodontist may undertake bone grafts to provide a suitable replacement tooth/teeth anchor.


Eagle Valley Family Dentistry in Bellefontefonte, PA

If you suspect you need to see a periodontist, schedule an appointment at Eagle Valley Family Dentistry. You can call, go online, or schedule a virtual consultation.