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Most adults over 35 years of age have some signs of periodontal disease, which is commonly called gum disease. Periodontics is the professional dental specialty that pertains to diagnosing, treating, and preventing gum disease.
What Does a Periodontist Do?
A periodontist receives additional training after dental school to learn to diagnose and treat gum disease. Mild gum disease is common and is often treated by a general dentist, but severe or complicated cases are best treated by skilled periodontists. If you have advanced gum disease, our periodontists in East Peoria can provide the expertise you need. Contact us to learn more.
What Caused My Gum Disease?
Gum disease is often the result of inadequate oral hygiene, which results in an accumulation of plaque and tartar along the gum line and on tooth surfaces. Over time, the bacteria contained in plaque leads to inflammation and infection of your gums. You may be more susceptible to gum disease if you smoke or have certain illnesses like diabetes or HIV.
Gum Disease Types
The two main types of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the mildest form. It causes only minor inflammation that causes gums to bleed easily and become red or sore. Many people have gingivitis without knowing it because symptoms can be unnoticeable. Most patients don’t need periodontists to treat mild gingivitis.
When gingivitis advances, the infection and inflammation extends deep into the gums and tissues that support teeth. At this stage, you may experience receding gums and the formation of pockets at the gum line where the gums have separated from the teeth. Without professional periodontal treatment, tooth loosening and bone loss may follow.
Other Causes of Periodontitis
While severe disease is most often a result of neglecting to treat gingivitis, periodontists also see cases that are related to severe illness, poor immune function, and gum injury. Some people may even have a hereditary form of severe gum disease. Our skilled periodontists can help manage the progression of gum disease from all causes.
Periodontal Disease Stages
First Stage: Gingivitis
Gingivitis causes mild swelling, gum soreness, bleeding, and discoloration. In most cases, treatment by periodontists is not needed.
Second Stage: Mild Periodontal Damage
Mild to moderate disease involves the spread of bacteria into connective tissues and the formation of pockets between gums and teeth. Periodontists often treat this stage with root planing, scaling, and antibiotics.
Third Stage: Severe Periodontal Damage
In severe gum disease, teeth may become loose and visible gaps may form between teeth. Periodontists may be able to save teeth and gums through surgical intervention and intensive management.
Types of Periodontal Surgery
Periodontists often treat severe cases of gum disease with a flap procedure that cleans the roots of an affected tooth and repairs bone damage. Other surgeries include bone or tissue grafts to replace diseased tissue, or procedures that encourage the growth of new tissue. Our periodontists use a variety of advanced techniques to restore tooth and gum integrity.
Is It Possible to Cure Gum Disease?
Early intervention can often mean a complete cure for gingivitis patients. Sadly, advanced disease may have permanent consequences. The good news is that periodontists can halt the progression of disease and help you preserve the integrity of viable teeth. Contact our office today to learn more about periodontists in East Peoria.