Board Certified Periodontist San Diego
Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums that causes inflammation, bleeding, and potential damage to your teeth and soft tissues. It’s an extremely common condition; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of all Americans suffer from some form of mild, moderate, or severe periodontal disease. Without proper treatment, gum disease can progress rapidly, leading to tooth loss and even health problems in other areas of your body.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of periodontal disease, a board certified periodontist can help treat your symptoms and restore your mouth to optimum health.
What are the stages of gum disease?
There are three stages of gum disease:
In the early stages of gum disease, plaque builds up along the gum line, causing inflammation, redness, and sometimes, bleeding.
Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to mild or moderate periodontitis. In this stage, the teeth begin to separate from the gums, forming deep pockets where tartar and bacteria collect.
- Advanced periodontitis
Uncontrolled bacteria growth can cause your gums to become severely infected and receded, exposing your tooth roots, damaging soft tissue, and eventually resulting in tooth loss and bone loss.
To prevent gingivitis from progressing to more invasive periodontal disease, it’s important to receive treatment as soon as possible by a board certified periodontist.
What is a board certified periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the gums, bones, and other structures and tissues that support your teeth. In addition to placing dental implants, periodontists also help to diagnose, treat, and prevent gum disease.
While all periodontists are required to complete up to four years of additional training after dental school, those wishing to become certified by the American Board of Periodontology must take yearly exams to demonstrate their expertise. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, board certified periodontists, like those at San Diego Dental Specialty Center, have made “significant achievements beyond the mandatory educational requirements,” and are well-versed in the latest advances in periodontitis treatment and prevention.
How does a periodontist treat gum disease?
Treatment for gingivitis and periodontitis depends on the stage of the disease and your specific signs and symptoms. They can range from deep cleanings to surgical procedures, including:
- Scaling and root planing
A periodontist can perform a special deep cleaning procedure consisting of two steps: scaling, which scrapes the tartar from above and below the gum line; and root planing, which evens out rough spots on the tooth root to encourage the gums to reattach smoothly.
- Flap surgery
During flap surgery, also known as pocket reduction surgery, small incisions are made in the gums, which are then lifted back to make it easier to remove tartar located deep below the gum line. After a cleaning, the gums are then sutured back into place, where they will heal tightly around the teeth.
- Bone and soft tissue grafts
Advanced periodontitis can cause gums to recede and bone loss to occur. Your periodontist can perform grafts that encourage your body to regenerate this damaged tissue, improving both the integrity and the appearance of your smile.
After a thorough oral exam, your periodontist at San Diego Dental Specialty Center will come up with a treatment plan to stop the progression of gum disease and restore your oral health.
How do I know if I need to see a periodontist?
While not everyone with gum disease will exhibit symptoms of the condition, some of the more common signs include:
- Red, swollen, or puffy gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Tender or sore gums
- Bad breath
- Pain when chewing
- Sensitive teeth
If you’re exhibiting any of these symptoms, call San Diego Dental Specialty Center at (619) 263-6683 for a comprehensive periodontal exam. We can treat all stages of gum disease and help you get your smile back in tip-top shape.