Learn How a Periodontist Can Improve Your Health and Appearance

Posted on: April 25, 2016

PeriodontistIf your dentist refers you to a periodontist, there is nothing to be alarmed about. While the name sounds imposing, a periodontist is a dentist that specializes in periodontal diseases that can range from simple gum inflammation to serious infections that can damage the gums and even cause tooth loss. Simply put, this specialist cares for the structures that support your teeth, including the roots, the gums, and the ligaments. Many adults in America have experienced some sort of periodontal diseases and are referred to a specialist during the course of their lifetime. Additionally, if you need dental implants chances are that you will end up seeing a periodontist. We are one and provide specialty treatments along with traditional dental care.

We have been trained to address both complex and simple problems that may cause oral distress, tooth loss, or discomfort. Some of these conditions can be prevented or solved with teeth cleanings and regular dental exams. Others, however, require oral surgery in order to correct them.  This is why it is important to work with a specialist.

Here are examples of how we can help:

Millions of people around the world are affected by receding gums. There are several reasons why gums begin to recede. These include periodontal diseases, excessive and aggressive brushing, grinding and clenching of the teeth, insufficient dental care, piercing, and your genes. Additionally, over 30% of adults are susceptible to receding gums because of their genes. When the gums start to recede several things happen which can be corrected by a soft tissue graft. First pockets begin to form where the gums have receded, leaving gaps between the teeth, making it easier for bacteria to build up and cause an infection. Left untreated, this can result in severe gum disease and even tooth loss. The second thing that happens is the roots can become exposed. Roots, being extremely sensitive to heat and cold, can cause a great deal of discomfort if they are exposed to the elements. As a periodontist, we can provide relief for this common condition.

Additionally, as the gums recede the quality of a person’s smile is greatly diminished. To correct the receding gums, we will perform what is known as a soft tissue graft. Essentially soft tissue is taken from a donor spot, typically the roof or palate of the mouth, and grafted or stitched to the area around where the gums have receded so as to cover the exposed root. This grafted skin will grow naturally and connect with the existing tissue to eliminate the challenges and discomfort a patient may be experiencing.

On the other hand, a gummy smile occurs where there is too much gum tissue in the mouth, which overwhelms the teeth and makes them seem small and disproportionate.  Too much gum exposure is not medically harmful, but does hurt a persons’ appearance, leading many people seek help. Correcting a gummy smile is a simple process called crown lengthening. In this procedure, we will remove the excessive gum tissue and sculpt what is left to give the gums the proper contour. As a periodontist, we can complete these procedures and more in order to keep your mouth healthy and looking great.

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