Unraveling Dentistry: What Do I Need to Know About Periodontics?
Oral health is important. A healthy mouth contributes to many other life and health processes. It is the center of the body where digestion begins. A healthy mouth is also important for speech and for conversation. When this region of the body is damaged, though, it can become affect the rest of the body in so many ways. Damage to the teeth, gums or bones may interfere with the ability to speak and chew properly, which may result in problems that are felt throughout the body. That is why Stetson Hills Dental recommends that its patients brush and floss their teeth daily and to see a dental professional regularly for dental checkups and cleanings.
For those who visit the dentist, then, there are many terms that may be discussed. Understandably, many times these terms get confused or misinterpreted as they are not commonly used in everyday speech and life. One such term that some Stetson Hills Dental patients may hear is periodontics.
What Is Periodontics?
Periodontics is a term that you might hear in relation to gums, gum health and gum disease. Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that focuses not on the teeth as much as the structures of the mouth like the gums and the jawbone. When healthy these structures hold the teeth in place and provide shape to the face. If the gums become infected with bacteria severely enough for the infection to reach the bone, the bone can wear away in a process called “resorption”. If the infection is not treated and managed, teeth may actually fall out.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease refers to any gum disease that impacts the supporting structures of the mouth. There are two main forms of periodontal disease: gingivitis (gum disease) and periodontal disease. Gum disease is the milder form of periodontal disease. It’s characterized by red, swollen and bleeding gums. Gums may bleed when you brush or chew. The gums become red and swollen because the body is sending more blood to the area to help fight the bacterial infection. Gum tissue may also start to recede or pull away from the surface of your teeth leaving little pockets where food and bacteria can get trapped and start causing tooth decay problems below the gum line. This earlier stage is easily preventable and easily treatable.
Periodontal disease is a more serious condition and once a patient has reached this stage, he or she will always have periodontal disease and will have to maintain good oral hygiene practices his or her whole life to keep the infection at bay. At this stage, the gums have pulled away from the teeth and there is root exposure and severe pocketing around the teeth. Teeth may become loose at this stage and patients normally feel some tooth sensitivity due to the exposed roots.
These diseases can be caused by acidic wear and tear on the teeth, smoking, not flossing or cleaning the teeth thoroughly.
Who Provides Treatments for Periodontal Issues?
A periodontist is the name of the dental professional who has studied, understands, and knows how to treat periodontal disease. They can identify concerns such as oral inflammation and gum disease at the earliest possible stage. They specialize in catching the small and slight warning signs of gum disease. Though general dentists and other dental practitioners can also handle these kinds of concerns, periodontists have a bit more expertise in this area as they have actually dedicated hours of study to gain the certification.
Further, because of the level of education and the specialization that is required, periodontists are often called in to collaborate with general dentists on more problematic cases of dental disease. Specifically, they will perform such procedures as root scaling and planing, or gum grafting, which is used to cover the base of the tooth and protect the root. Periodontists may also be called in to work with patients who decide on having dental implants.
What Dentist Knows About Periodontics and Can Help Me?
If you are looking for a dentist in Colorado Springs that can provide periodontal evaluation and treatments look no further than the dental professionals at Stetson Hills Dental. The amazing Stetson Hills Dental team knows and understands the needs and concerns you may be facing. We recognize that asking for help and seeing a dental professional is not always easy and we encourage you to ask questions and become involved in your oral health. To make an appointment and have your oral health evaluated, call or visit Stetson Hills Dental today!