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Periodontist

Periodontics is an area of dentistry focused on the prevention and treatment of gum disease, or periodontitis. From dental deep cleanings to bone grafts and dental implants, periodontics provides a variety of options to treat gum disease at all its stages.

Bright Now! Dental offers periodontal treatments as part of our comprehensive dental services. Treating gum disease is critical to preserving overall health, and Bright Now! Dental makes it easy and affordable with cleanings, scaling and root planing, and advanced periodontal procedures, all available at our multiple convenient locations.

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What do periodontists do?

A periodontist or dentist who specializes in periodontics primarily works to reverse the effects of periodontitis, or gum disease, if it can’t be prevented altogether. If left untreated, periodontal disease can spread throughout the body, resulting in infections that can move into the bloodstream or even the brain. Periodontists use a wide range of procedures to treat gum disease at all its levels and help preserve a patient’s overall health.

How do I know if I need a periodontist?

If you’re experiencing signs of advanced gum disease or periodontitis, your dentist will likely refer you to a periodontist. Unlike gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease, periodontitis cannot be reversed and requires professional treatment.

Signs of advanced gum disease include reddened gums, gums that bleed while flossing and brushing, and persistent bad breath. Severe symptoms of gum disease can also include pus buildup below the gumline, receding of the gum line, and tooth pain and decay. There are several treatment options a periodontist has to address these issues.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is the slow spread of bacterial infection into the nooks and crannies of your teeth and gums. Gum disease is most treatable in its earlier stages, when plaque buildup causes red and irritated gums. As the condition progresses, it becomes irreversible and more difficult to treat, developing into gum recession, abscessed tooth roots, cavities, and tooth decay. Without treatment, gum disease can eventually lead to wide-spread infection and tooth and bone loss.

What are the stages of gum disease?

Gum disease gradually progresses through several stages.

  • Gingivitis. Gingivitis is identified by red and swollen gums that bleed after brushing or flossing, as well as discoloration of the oral tissue. This stage is the only stage of gum disease that can be reversed through improved oral hygiene practices. 
  • Early to moderate periodontitis. Gingivitis becomes periodontitis when tartar and bacteria buildup have developed into an infection that is now affecting the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth. Treating this stage will require dental procedures like scaling and root planing or flap surgery.
  • Advanced periodontitis. With advanced periodontitis, the teeth and bone structures are severely compromised, resulting in loosened teeth, bone deterioration, and dental abscesses. Treatment for advanced periodontitis may require tooth extraction and dental implants or gum or bone grafts.

What types of periodontal treatments are there?

Periodontal treatments are typically not necessary unless the early symptoms of gum disease cannot be halted or reversed with improved oral hygiene. If you do need periodontal treatment, the type will often depend on your unique health situation and the severity of your condition. 

Other than scaling and root planing–a non-surgical procedure more commonly known as dental deep cleaning–the most common treatments a periodontist performs are flap surgery and tissue and bone grafts.

What is Flap Surgery?

Flap surgery is needed to repair moderate periodontitis, more specifically to deeply clean tartar and deteriorating tissue from the mouth and reattach receding gums to the teeth. 

During this procedure, the periodontist surgically separates the patient’s gums from the teeth. They will then use dental instruments to thoroughly clean any infected tissue and tartar buildup from the teeth. Once the teeth have been cleaned, they will stitch the separated tissue back to the gumline to ensure the gums reattach to the teeth.

Tissue and Bone Graft

During a tissue and bone graft procedure, the periodontist takes healthy tissue and bone from other areas in the mouth and replaces them along deteriorated teeth, gums, or other oral tissue infected by advanced periodontitis. During a tissue graft, the periodontal surgeon will remove healthy tissue, typically from the roof of the mouth, and place the tissue behind the previously cleaned gums to help the surrounding tissue health properly and reattach themselves to the teeth. 

Bone grafts are needed when tooth enamel has deteriorated after prolonged periodontitis. A dental surgeon will clean the area thoroughly from infected tissue and deteriorated teeth enamel. They will then place bone graft material between the cleaned gums and cleaned tooth enamel, which helps the body regenerate new bone. 

Protect Your Dental Health with Periodontic Services from Bright Now! Dental

If you’ve been suffering from gum disease or periodontitis, it’s not too late to repair the damage and prevent further problems with periodontic services from Bright Now! Dental. Whether you need a routine checkup, a deep cleaning, or surgical treatment, Bright Now! Dental offers the comprehensive care you need to restore the health and function of your gums. Schedule a consultation today at the Bright Now! Dental location nearest you and take charge of your dental health.