Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that focuses on the health of the gums and jaw, the tissues that support the teeth. A gum specialist is called a periodontist, who is a dentist with advanced training. They are experts in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease, as well as in the placement of dental implants and other oral inflammation treatments. The term periodontics is derived from the Greek words peri meaning around and odons meaning tooth. In more extreme cases, surgery may be necessary and periodontists are trained in the necessary procedures.
In addition to treating difficult periodontal and implant cases, periodontists also provide a variety of other specialized services. Similarly, while some general dentists perform dental implant procedures, many also refer their patients to periodontists for more difficult implant cases. In addition to the treatment of periodontal disease, a periodontist can also be requested to perform root surface debridement. It is extremely important for the periodontist to know if you are taking any medications or are being treated for a condition that may affect periodontal care, such as heart disease, diabetes, or pregnancy. The most common periodontal service involves the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease, also called gum disease. In extreme cases, if the gum infection has caused bone damage, the periodontist may also need to perform jaw surgery.
Getting regular routine dental exams and dental cleanings helps identify periodontal disease early on. Then, your periodontist will examine your gums for any receding gumline, evaluate how your teeth come into contact with each other when you bite, and check if any of your teeth are loose. In deep periodontal pockets, bacteria can access the roots of the teeth and even the jaw. If your general dentist refers you to a periodontist, it's simply because they have the special skills, knowledge, and experience to provide you with the type of periodontal treatment or implant procedure you need. Discover more about causes of tooth loss in adults, prevention tips and specialized periodontal care at Premier Periodontics to enhance your smile.