4 Questions to Ask a Periodontist
You may have heard of a periodontist, but you may not be quite sure what one is. A periodontist is a dental professional that specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. A periodontist has the skills necessary to treat all types of issues relating to the gums, and he or she can also treat associated issues that may occur if the periodontal disease reaches the severe stages.
Questions to ask a periodontist
If you are concerned about gum disease, it is important to seek early treatment. A periodontist can answer any questions you may have about gum disease, the associated symptoms, and treatment options.
1. What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease occurs when a buildup of bacteria on the teeth causes an infection of the surrounding gum tissue. There are three stages of gum disease, and if it is caught early, it can be easily treated. Once the infection gets worse and spreads, it is impossible to reverse, and the treatments are generally more invasive.
2. What are the signs of gum disease?
During the early stages, the gums may seem swollen and red. You may also notice frequent bleeding when you brush or floss. As the disease progresses, you may notice pain, and the gums will begin to recede from the teeth. During later stages, the infection can get into the jawbone, which may result in loose teeth that eventually fall out if the infection is not treated. Additional signs and symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Chronic bad breath
- Pain while chewing
- Pus-filled sores along the gums
- Sensitive teeth due to nerve exposure
3. How do you treat gum disease?
The treatment method that a periodontist uses depends on the severity of the infection. At the first sign of the disease, better brushing and flossing techniques may be all that is needed. If this is not sufficient, a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is performed.
During the advanced stages of gum disease, the periodontist may need to perform surgery to get rid of the bacteria and infection. Some options include flap surgery, gum graft surgery, bone graft, guided tissue regeneration, and bone surgery.
4. What are the options if a missing tooth needs to be replaced?
If the gum disease gets so bad, an affected tooth may fall out, or it may need to be extracted due to the infection. There are various options for replacing a tooth, but a dental implant is a popular choice. A periodontist has the training to place an implant as well.
Gum disease is common, and, although it is easily treated in the early stages, it becomes much more challenging to treat once it progresses to the advanced stages. A periodontist can treat the disease at any stage, and he or she can also give the advice to help prevent it from occurring in the first place.
If you have gum disease, it is important to schedule an appointment with a periodontist to get treatment right away. To see what your options are, schedule a consultation with our office.
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