Are your gums consistently swollen and/or irritated? If so, your dentist may recommend you see a periodontist for a consultation. These dental specialists focus on issues relating to the gums. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common oral health issue that damages the gums. Without treatment, it can lead to gum recession and even tooth loss.
Periodontal treatment can include deep cleanings, antibiotics, and scaling and root planing. Additionally, periodontists can offer cosmetic gum surgeries that reshape the gums to provide a more aesthetically pleasing smile. If you’re in need of gum disease treatment or would like to have a smile makeover, you may want to discuss your concerns with one of our dentists at Columbia Smiles. Our team, under the leadership of Dr. Michael Hsu, is dedicated to helping our patients maintain healthy and beautiful smiles.
What Services Does a Periodontist Provide?
Typically, your dentist will refer you to a periodontist if they’re concerned about the health of your gums. These specialists can treat severe periodontal issues, like receding gums or bone loss.
Common periodontal services include:
- Scaling and root planing – These deep cleaning procedures can remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line, helping the gums reattach to the teeth.
- Oral surgery – For severe cases of gum disease, surgery might be required to clean underneath the gums. Gum grafts can also help replace lost gum tissue.
- Pocket reductions – Gum disease can lead to pockets around the teeth where bacteria can thrive. This procedure can reduce the size of the pockets.
- Cosmetic dentistry services – Receding gums can change the look of your smile. A periodontist may help give you the smile you want.
Do You Need Periodontic Services?
While good oral hygiene habits like brushing, flossing, and regularly visiting your dentist can keep gum disease at bay, some factors can make you more susceptible to infection. Smoking, hormonal changes, and genetics can all contribute to gum disease.
Gum disease is caused by bacteria on your teeth and under the gums. This may irritate the gums, causing inflammation. Over time, pockets of plaque can build up, resulting in gum recession and even bone loss. Even mild forms of gum disease, known as gingivitis, can be harmful if left untreated.
Some of the signs that you might have developed periodontal disease include:
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Inflamed, irritated gum tissue
- Loose teeth
- Knocked-out teeth
- Painful chewing
- A change in your bite
Speak with your dentist if you’re experiencing any of the above. They will be able to look for signs of gum disease that might be invisible to the untrained eye. Your dentist will refer you to a periodontist as needed.
Schedule an Appointment with Columbia Smiles Today
If you’re in need of periodontic services in Maryland, reach out to Columbia Smiles today. In our Howard County dental practice, we offer a wide range of services to keep your teeth and gums healthy, including periodontic services. Wondering what a periodontist does? Schedule a consultation with us today and let our team of dental professionals help you reach your optimal oral health.
We can also offer advice on preventative measures, like sealants or fluoride treatments, that can help you avoid tooth decay and gum disease. Contact us at 410.690.4855 or online to connect with a Columbia Smiles team member to schedule an appointment.