What is Periodontal Care?

Periodontics is a specialty of dentistry which covers the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the gum and bone tissue that support your teeth (periodontal disease). It also covers the maintenance, function and health of these structures and tissues. Mild to moderate periodontal (gum disease) is treated by deep cleaning and debridement of the teeth and root surfaces below the gums. This is usually done by a hygienist.

A periodontist will often treat patients with more advanced periodontal cases. This includes those with severe gum disease or a complicated medical history. There are a wide range of periodontal treatments available such as surgical therapies and scaling and root planning or root surface debridement. Periodontics also includes the placement and repair of dental implants.

A Periodontal Exam

A periodontal exam is a component of every routine exam performed when you have your teeth cleaned. Your hygienist and dentist will examine the gums and measure the depth of the space between the gums and the teeth and look for signs of gum disease such as inflammation and bleeding. The gums and bone are also checked for recession, and teeth are assessed for proper occlusion (how they fit together when biting) as well as for mobility (loose teeth). X-Rays might also be taken to evaluate the health of the underlying bone.

Should You see a Periodontist?

A patient’s periodontal needs can usually be managed by a general dentist. If your dentist diagnosis a more advanced stage of periodontal disease or a form that requires a surgical therapy, you will probably be referred to a periodontist. Your general systemic health will also be considered as medical research has established a correlation between periodontal disease and other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease.

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