When should I see a periodontist?

25th August 2015

Bow Lane Dental has recently taken on board a gum disease specialist (otherwise known as a periodontist) to meet the needs of our patients. This blog guide is going to explain why and when periodontists are necessary for your health.

Introduction to Periodontists & Gum Disease

The root meaning for periodontist is ‘peri’ meaning ‘around’ and ‘odont’ meaning tooth. So, periodontists specialise in the gum, bone and connective tissues that surround and hold your teeth in place.

Gum disease is a dangerous condition since it often doesn’t make itself known (if you don’t have regular dental check-ups) until it’s fairly advanced, by which time you could be in danger of losing teeth. To make matters worse, your gums act as a barrier to help prevent inflammation in the body, and science has linked gum disease to serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, premature births, low-birth weight babies and stroke.

The main cause of gum disease is a gathering of harmful plaque around your teeth due to poor dental hygiene and/or hereditary gingivitis. Smoking also plays a large role in the worsening of the condition.

Red Flags for Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Statistics reveal that many people have gum disease without realising it. Common symptoms are bleeding when you brush or floss, redness and inflammation of the gum margins, bad taste or breath, abscesses and ultimately the loosening of your teeth because the infected gums are unable to firmly hold them in place.

Tackling Gum Disease – Periodontal Treatment

Your first port of call is to have regular check-ups with your dentist, since they are trained to identify gum disease. He/she will then refer you to a gum disease specialist to minimise and manage the condition. Your periodontist will then give you a full gum evaluation in order to formulate the best plan of attack for your individual needs.

For mild to moderate periodontal disease, you will be shown how to reduce plaque which gathers in-between your teeth through effective brushing and flossing. You will also be prescribed a thorough professional teeth clean (called scaling and root planning) to get rid of the plaque which has lodged inside your gums so that further inflammation is prevented.

More serious cases will include periodontal treatments such as occlusal (bite) and/or surgical solutions. Your gum disease specialist will explain these to you thoroughly as well as outline periodontist cost plans.

It’s also important to mention that periodontists work together with your dentist and other dental specialists – this team approach keeps you safely guarded.

Conclusion

If you’re experiencing any of the red flag symptoms mentioned above, have a family history of gum disease or are a regular smoker, it’s important to have regular check-ups with your dentist – the earlier you catch the problem, the more preventative steps you can take before permanent damage (like receding gums) occurs. Since we now have an experienced gum disease specialist Fahd Saleh on board at Bow Lane, you’ll be able to get all the periodontal treatment you need in one place.

See also What is a periodontist?

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