A periodontist is a dentist that specializes in the soft tissues of the mouth along with the underlying jawbone that supports the teeth. A dentist that specializes as a periodontist will focus on preventing the onset of gum disease which is more commonly known as periodontal disease. The periodontist will diagnose conditions that affect the gums and jawbone; they also focus on treating gingivitis, periodontitis, along with bone loss.
Periodontal disease is a condition that is progressive; it is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the developed world. A periodontist dentist is able to treat mild, moderate and advanced gum disease by addressing the bacterial infection that will be at the root of the problem. They will also provide periodontal treatment, and also information and education on good oral hygiene and how to effectively clean your teeth.
As a periodontist, there are a wide range of treatments they can perform that will put a stop to the progression of gum disease. They are also able to replace missing teeth, and also make the appearance of your smile more aesthetically pleasing. Some of the most common conditions that a periodontist will treat include:
- Gingivitis: This is the mild inflammation of the gums that may or may not be signified by bleeding and pain.
- Mild/Moderate Periodontitis: when the pockets between the teeth and the soft tissues are measured and are between 4-6mm it is classified as moderate periodontitis, which is gum disease
- Advanced periodontitis: When the pockets that are between the teeth and the soft tissues exceed 6mm in depth, significant bone loss may occur; this may cause significant bone loss and it may also cause your teeth to shift or you may lose your teeth.
- Missing teeth: When you have missing teeth as a result of bone loss, your periodontist can implant prosthetic teeth for you. These teeth are anchored to your jawbone and will restore functionality to your mouth.
Other treatments that the periodontist can perform are implant placement, gingivoplasty, osteoplasty, bone grafting, crown lengthening and deep pocket cleanings.