Introduction to Periodontics
A periodontist is a dentist that has specialized in the treatment, identification, and prevention of periodontal diseases also known as gum disease. Periodontal diseases and conditions impact the supporting bones and gums that keep the teeth healthy and in place. Dr. David Scharf is a board certified periodontist and is well equipped to handle all your periodontal needs. Dr. Scharf is a certified instructor for LANAP, Laser Gum Treatment, and takes the time to talk to his patients, address their concerns, and provide them with the best recommended care possible. Take a moment to learn more about what periodontics are, how to recognize periodontal disease, and how periodontics can help you.
What Is Periodontics?
As mentioned above, periodontics is the study of the gums and bone tissues that support your teeth. The direct impact of this is to study periodontal diseases in order to learn how to treat them, prevent them, and identify them. Periodontists are specialized dentists who have taken additional education to be able to accomplish this. Periodontal disease is a serious issue for not only your oral health, but your overall health. As an idea, here are some of the things that can cause periodontal disease:
- Bad habits like smoking.
- Lack of hygiene habits; poor brushing and flossing on a regular basis.
- Family history of periodontal disease.
- Certain medications that affect oral health.
- Cancer, HIV, or other serious illnesses that effect the overall health of your body.
- Changes in your hormone levels.
What Are Symptoms Of Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease is the main culprit and what periodontists primarily focus on when talking about periodontal disease. Gum disease is a serious problem; it starts off as gingivitis in its earliest stages which is a bleeding and swelling of the gums. From there, it can worsen into periodontitis which eventually leads to bone loss, gum recession, and even tooth loss. Periodontal disease can even impact your overall health—leading to lasting health issues if left untreated. In order to identify periodontal disease and receive treatment, you should look out for these symptoms:
- Bleeding of the gums when brushing your tooth.
- Gums are tender, swollen, or red.
- Regular bad taste in mouth or regular bad breath.
- Deep pockets in your gums and between your teeth.
- Teeth that feel loose or shifting.
- Changes in your bite.
What Periodontal Procedures Are Available?
There are non-anesthetic and anesthetic procedures available for periodontal treatment. The type of treatment is tailored to the severity of the gum disease. In its early stages, a professional dental cleaning can be enough to treat the issue. In more advanced stages, the procedures escalate to scaling and root planing, bone grafts and soft tissue grafts, and pocket reduction and flap surgery. Here are the summarized procedures we offer:
- Professional dental cleaning: typically done during checkups, this procedure removes plaque and tartar which helps prevent gum disease.
- Scaling and root planing: this deep cleaning procedure allows for the gum line to have tartar and plaque that is deep in the gums removed and made smooth again to attempt bacteria from gathering there again.
- Bone and soft tissue grafts: if the damage done by the gum disease is too serve, then a graft must be utilized to replace your soft tissue or bone in order to provide function to your teeth once more.
- Guided tissue regeneration: instead of completing a craft, a regeneration procedure is utilized in order to promote the regrowth of gum and bone where possible.
- Pocket reduction and flap surgery: in this procedure, the gums are lifted back and tartar is removed. From that point, the gums can be put back into place to fit snugly around the tooth and minimize the space of pockets.
Schedule an Appointment
There you have it—you should know be familiar with what periodontics are, how to identify periodontal disease, and what periodontal procedures are available to you. If you would like to schedule an appointment to learn more about periodontics or to undergo a procedure, you can do so online. If you have any questions or concerns that you would like to address with us, please contact us immediately! Dr. David Scharf and his dental team are here to assist you with your periodontal and dental needs.