What is a Periodontist and How Do They Support Oral Health?

Published on March 23, 2022
what is a periodontist and how do they support oral health

From treating severe or complex gum disease to helping address a gummy smile, periodontists specialise in all things involving the gums. Discover more about what a periodontist does and how they can help keep your smile happy and healthy.

What is a Periodontist and How Do They Support Oral Health?

When it comes to your dental health, you probably think of your teeth first and foremost. However, keeping your gums healthy is just as important in maintaining good oral health and avoiding the potentially serious issues of conditions such as gum disease.

Speaking of gums, a periodontist is a dental professional who specialises in this area of your mouth. Read on to discover what a periodontist does, the treatments they offer, and why you might benefit from seeing a periodontist.

What is a periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who has received additional university training that enables them to specialise in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of issues concerning the gums (known as periodontal diseases).

How does a periodontist treat gum disease?

A periodontist can perform a wide variety of procedures in the treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. The type of treatment your periodontist undertakes will depend on the severity of your gum disease.

For minor to moderate gum disease, a periodontist may start with less-invasive, non-surgical treatments such as scaling and root planing. These procedures involve the use of specialised hand-held tools that are used to deep-clean the teeth below the gum line.

If periodontal disease has impacted the gum so that it no longer fits properly against the teeth, a periodontist may perform minor gum surgery to address the loose ‘pockets’ of the gum. This allows them to remove the infected gum tissue so that healthy tissue can reattach to the teeth naturally.

In the case of advanced gum disease, a periodontist may perform regenerative procedures including bone grafts, gum grafts, and treatments that help to stimulate the growth of new gum tissue.

What other treatments can a periodontist provide?

In addition to diagnosing and treating gum disease, periodontists can also offer other treatments relating to the gums. These treatments include:

● Gum graft surgery: If receding gums have caused tooth roots to become exposed, gum graft surgery can help to reduce sensitivity, protect against tooth decay, and prevent further recession from occurring.

● Crown lengthening surgery: For people who suffer from a ‘gummy’ smile, this treatment reshapes excess gum to reduce gum visibility or creates a healthy space between teeth, gums, and bone.

● Dental implant surgery: This treatment is designed to replace missing, decayed or damaged teeth in order to restore your smile while retaining natural tooth appearance and function.

Why would I need to see a periodontist?

Poor oral hygiene practices or a diet high in sugary and acidic food and drink can lead to the build-up of plaque and tartar, which in turn can cause gum disease. If left untreated, early-stage gum disease (called gingivitis) can turn into the more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis.

People suffering from severe or complex gum disease will be referred to a periodontist to treat their condition and prevent it from recurring.

You may also benefit from seeing a periodontist if you’re concerned about a gummy smile or other cosmetic issues involving your gums. Periodontists can help to improve the appearance of your smile, from addressing excess gum visibility to correcting receding gums and restoring missing teeth

If you need to see a periodontist, make an appointment at your local National Dental Care or DB Dental practice now.

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