What is a periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures. Some patient’s periodontal needs can be managed by the general dentist. However, as more and more patients show signs of periodontal disease and other chronic diseases of aging, it takes a specific specialist called a Periodontist to treat them.
Do you need to see a Periodontist?
There are a few signs and symptoms you can watch out for that can help you determine if you might need to see your periodontist for an evaluation and possibly treatment:
- Your gums are red, swollen or bleeding, especially during brushing and flossing
- You have chronic bad breath or a sour taste in your mouth
- Your gums are receding or there are deep pockets between teeth and gums
- Your teeth feel loose and are shifting out of their normal alignment
- You’ve noticed changes in your bite pattern and a difference when you are biting or chewing foods
- You have pain when eating
- Your teeth are sensitive to extreme temperatures
- You have a family history of gum disease
- You smoke or you used to smoke
- You have diabetes
- You’re missing one or multiple teeth
What happens after your treatment with the Periodonist?
Regular dental visits and more frequent cleanings are important to keep periodontal disease under control. If Implants were placed, the next step would be to see your dentist to start the restorative part of the treatment.
Good oral hygiene at home is also important to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or from coming back. It just takes a few minutes twice a day to care for your teeth and gums. Daily cleaning helps keep the plaque under control and reduces tartar buildup.