Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum diseases and other conditions that affect the supporting structures of teeth, such as the gums, bone, and connective tissues. Periodontists are dental specialists who receive additional education and training beyond general dentistry to become experts in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. They also specialize in the placement of dental implants and the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists work closely with general dentists and other dental specialists to provide comprehensive oral health care for their patients.
Periodontal disease is caused by bacterial infection and inflammation in the gums and surrounding tissues that support the teeth. The primary cause of periodontal disease is the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums. If plaque is not removed by regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar (also known as calculus), which can only be removed by professional dental cleaning.
Plaque and tartar buildup can cause irritation and inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of periodontal disease. If left untreated, the infection can spread deeper into the gums and eventually affect the bone and other supporting tissues, leading to more severe periodontal disease, which is known as periodontitis.
Other risk factors for periodontal disease include smoking, genetic predisposition, hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy or menopause), certain medications, and systemic diseases such as diabetes.
The treatment for periodontal disease depends on the severity of the condition. In the early stages, treatment usually involves professional dental cleaning to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar and improve oral hygiene practices to prevent further development of the disease.
In more advanced stages of periodontitis, treatment may involve scaling and root planing, a deep cleaning procedure that involves removing plaque and tartar from below the gum line and smoothing the root surfaces of the teeth to help the gums reattach to the teeth.
If the disease has caused significant damage to the gums and bone, surgical intervention may be necessary. Some examples of surgical procedures include flap surgery, in which the gums are lifted to allow for deeper cleaning and repair of the bone, and bone or tissue grafting, which involves replacing damaged bone or tissue with healthy grafts.
In addition to these treatments, a periodontist may also recommend changes to the patient’s oral hygiene routine, such as regular brushing and flossing, and a more frequent schedule of professional cleanings to maintain healthy gums and prevent the recurrence of the disease.
Scaling and Root Planing, often referred to as a dental Deep Cleaning, are done if you have periodontal disease that has resulted in bone loss, gum disease, bleeding gums or exposed root surfaces. This type of cleaning goes beyond the basic cleaning.
Deep cleanings don’t usually hurt. Depending on the depth of the pocket and severity of the root surface, your dentist will numb the area so that you will feel as comfortable as possible during your cleaning.
After your deep cleaning you might feel some discomfort. Talk to your dentist if you are feeling pain or discomfort.
Do you think you need a periodontist? Are you having issues with your existing dental implants? Call Coral Springs Smiles at (954) 715-6840 to discuss your options. Dr. Anand is glad to help you with your dental needs.