When many people think about their oral health, they think about their smiles. While the surface of the tooth is important to your overall health, what lies below the gums can be even more critical. Periodontics is a wing of dentistry that focuses on examining, correcting, and maintaining the various structures that support your teeth. Aside from helping those with periodontal disease, periodontics can also address other concerns.
What Can a Periodontist Help With?
Dentists who specialize in periodontics are known as periodontists. They can perform a broad range of services designed to help you maintain optimal oral health. Periodontists can diagnose and treat gum disease using a variety of methods.
Beyond conditions that impact the gums, periodontists also participate in oral surgery. They are particularly critical in the dental implantation process, as periodontists can examine the health of the gum tissue prior to implantation, assist with implant placement, perform bite adjustments, and even complete gum grafting.
When Do You Need to See a Periodontist?
There are many different reasons why you might visit a periodontist. Many patients first visit a periodontist because of a referral from their family dentist. Because periodontists are experts in the treatment of gum disease, they can provide specialized care that helps to support your gums and teeth so that you can keep both of them in excellent condition now and in the future.
Unfortunately, many people do not receive the periodontal care that they could benefit from. One estimate from the American Dental Association found that 50 to 90% of adults 30 and over in the United States have some stage of gum disease. By receiving a diagnosis early, you can dramatically improve your prognosis. If you are concerned about your gum health or looking to receive a dental implant, visiting a periodontist is a great idea.
What Happens If You Don’t Take Care of Periodontal Issues?
Periodontal disease can lead to serious oral health consequences, like the loss of teeth. Additionally, untreated gum disease is linked to embarrassing dental conditions like halitosis. Beyond your mouth, research has been done that links periodontal disease with many other serious health conditions that could impact your life. Some of the things you are at an increased risk of if you have untreated gum disease include:
- Heart attacks
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Reproductive problems, including infertility
- Respiratory problems
- And more
Taking care of your gum disease is about more than just your smile, it’s also about your overall health.
What Services Can a Periodontist Perform?
Periodontists can perform a comprehensive range of services designed to meet the needs of patients of every age, including:
Bite adjustments, which help keep you comfortable as teeth shift or change position over time
Crown lengthening, which is a form of cosmetic dentistry that helps you feel more confident in your smile
Deep cleaning to remove debris and plaque from deep pockets in your mouth that are otherwise hard to reach
Dental implant installation and maintenance to restore your smile
Dentures to keep you comfortable and confident
Wisdom tooth extraction, which can require specialized care due to impaction and challenging tooth placement
Pocket reduction or correction to make home care for your teeth easier
Periodontal maintenance to decrease the discomfort and inflammation in your mouth and preserve the health of your current teeth
Gum grafting to increase gum tissue in different parts of the mouth and slow the impact of gum disease
Hard tissue grafting to allow for dental implant placement and smile restoration
The right periodontist will be able to care for your smile and gums now and in the future. Make your appointment today!