Dental Tips Blog

Jan
8

How Is a Periodontist Different from a Regular Dentist?

Posted in Periodontics

All periodontists go to dental school. Afterwards, they return for a few more years of study with a focus on the gum and bone tissues. The word “periodont-” literally means “around tooth.” So, a periodontist is someone who treats the structures around teeth.

Here are some of the differences between general dentists and periodontists.

What Dentists Treat That Periodontists Don’t

General dentists tend to treat just the teeth themselves. They aim to prevent decay, repair cavities, and rebuild teeth into a functional and beautiful smile. Some procedures done by dentists that you won’t likely find in a periodontist’s office include:

  • Fillings
  • Root canals
  • Dental crowns
  • Fluoride and sealants
  • Teeth whitening

What Periodontists Do That Dentists Don’t

When you visit a periodontist, you’ll have your gum health assessed via x-rays and an examination. Most likely, you’d be there because your gums need specialized treatment, cleaning, or reconstruction.

Some periodontal procedures include:

  • Deep cleaning for severe periodontitis
  • Gum surgery
  • Gum and bone grafting
  • Implant placement

Many dentists don’t place dental implants. They may restore an implant after it’s in, fitting it for a crown, bridge, or denture and so on. But the task of placing the actual screw in the bone under the gums is often referred out to a periodontist.

Even if your gums are in great shape, you may go see a periodontist for an implant if your local dentist doesn’t place them.

Do You Need to See a Periodontist?

Talk with your dentist about a referral to a periodontist. If you feel that your gums are showing signs of disease such as bleeding, recession, loose teeth, and bad breath, then you can feel free to contact a local periodontist yourself for an appointment.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Jan
7

5 Signs You May Need Gum Therapy

Posted in Periodontics

Gum disease treatment (also called periodontal therapy) refers to specialized treatment that stops gum disease and/or repairs the damage caused by it.

You may be a candidate for gum therapy if you notice any of the following signs:

  1. Lots of Gum Recession

Severe gum recession may leave you with very sensitive, yellow, and long-looking teeth. After addressing the cause behind your receded gums, you may qualify for treatment such as gum grafting to replace the lost tissue.

  1. Chronic Bad Breath

If you have bad breath that won’t go away no matter what you do, then it could be due to chronic periodontal infection deep below your gum-lines.

  1. Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation and almost always mean that something is wrong.

  1. Pus Around Teeth

Is there a yellow or white buildup of soft material around your teeth? It may be dental plaque. But plaque left for a long time can cause a bacterial infection around your teeth that results in pus and drainage.

  1. Loose Teeth

Permanent teeth should never be loose. That’s a sure sign your gums are weakened by disease.

Where Do You Get Gum Therapy?

Get started by visiting your local family dentist. Most dental offices are prepared to offer some level of periodontal treatment. Your dentist will evaluate your gums and let you know whether or not you should see a specialist.

Alternatively, you can contact a specialist directly. A periodontist in your area will assess your gum health and explain your treatment options.

There is a possibility that you could have the early stages of gum disease without noticing any of the hallmark signs. That’s why you should see your dentist for regular gum health checkups.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

Nov
26

Why Should You See a Periodontist for Gum Disease?

Posted in Periodontics

Gum disease is serious for a few reasons. It can…

  • Result in tooth loss
  • Adversely affect your overall health
  • Quickly spread to other teeth
  • Be difficult to control

Right now, there is no miracle pill you can take at one time to just make gum disease go away. Neither will it heal on its own.

If you’re diagnosed with some degree of gum disease, you need to have it monitored and treated by a gum health expert, like your dentist or hygienists.

In some cases, a general dentist can oversee gum health treatment from start to finish.

But at what point is it time to visit a gum specialist?

What Is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating gum tissue and other structures around the roots of teeth. He or she has 3-4 years of additional formal education in treating gum diseases.

Periodontists perform surgical procedures to correct gum problems, clean tooth roots, place dental implants, and even reconstruct the bone and gums around teeth. These are treatments which most general dentists don’t have either the time or training to do.

When to See a Gum Specialist

Your gum health may be at a point that’s beyond managing in a regular dental office. Your dentist may then recommend that you visit a specialist like a periodontist or oral surgeon for more in-depth cleaning and other therapies.

If you haven’t gotten a recommendation from your dentist but are still concerned about your gum health, it’s perfectly fine to contact a specialist yourself, without a referral.

For an assessment with a periodontist or oral surgeon your area, ask your general dentist for a referral.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

Oct
18

Signs You Have a Periodontal Abscess

Posted in Periodontics

What is a gum abscess?

When you hear the word “abscess,” you might think of a decayed tooth. But gums can be affected too.

A gum (periodontal) abscess can result from an infection caused by food trapped between a tooth and the gums. An abscess may also be caused by gum disease.

What are some signs that you have a periodontal abscess?

Pain – Usually an abscess is quite tender to the touch and while eating. You may also experience throbbing and constant pain – not only in the affected area, but also throughout your jaw.

A bad taste in the mouth – Foul breath accompanied by a nasty taste is caused by the draining pus, which is made up of bacteria and is a sure sign that something is wrong.

A swollen, pimple-like bump on your gum – This would be the abscess itself and is the site where pus drains out if it ruptures.

If you think you are suffering from a gum or tooth abscess, what can you do?

The best thing to do is seek help from a dentist or periodontist immediately. You may find home remedies (such as a salt/water mixture) can lessen the pain for a while, but it’s important to remember that the infection won’t go away on its own.

On rare occasions, a periodontal abscess may not cause very much pain at all. But in any case, it’s a serious infection that can spread to other parts of the body, so you should get it taken care of as soon as possible.

Your local dentist can help you find out the cause of an abscess and treat your infection quickly,  so call right away if you suspect one.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Apr
22

5 Reasons Why Gum Recession is Bad for Your Smile

Posted in Periodontics

Age, tooth alignment, smoking, and other factors can cause gum recession. It’s often impossible to prevent.

Yet, there are five good reasons you should try to slow down and repair gum recession if it happens to you.

  1. Your Teeth Will Get More Sensitive

Exposed tooth roots are very sensitive without the protective covering of gum tissue. You may have more and more difficulty with drinking hot tea or ice water.

  1. Your Cavity Risk Will Increase

Tooth roots lack the hard enamel coating that the upper part of your teeth have. Without enamel, roots can quickly develop aggressive cavities that eat right through the tooth.

  1. Your Teeth Can Lose Support

Gum recession only gets worse as time goes on. In severe cases, it can pull enough gum tissue away that your teeth get loose.

  1. Your Smile Won’t Look Nice

No matter how much you whiten, there’s not much that will change the look of long yellow teeth. Recession exposes tooth roots which are naturally dark. That color won’t bleach out.

  1. It Can Signal a Serious Underlying Problem

Gum recession can be caused by many other issues. One of those is gum disease, which is relatively painless. Receding gums could be a sign of a chronic gum infection that needs immediate attention.

What You Can Do About Gum Recession

The most important and sometimes only thing you can do is protect the exposed teeth. Extra fluoride or other remineralization treatments can help prevent erosion, decay, and sensitivity.

Your dentist or periodontist can provide treatments to restore lost gum tissue. Schedule a consultation with your dentist to find out more about combating gingival recession.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care of Acworth
5552 Robin Road Suite A
Acworth GA 30103
678-888-1554

Nov
30

Is Gingival Recontouring Right for Me?

Posted in Periodontics

Have you ever looked at your teeth and notice that the gums are all different heights? Some may be too high, others too low. Many scenarios arise as to why this happens, but now you may be considering if cosmetic gum contouring is right for you and you want to know some options.

Reducing Gummy Smiles

A gum reduction is needed when there is too much gingival tissue covering the teeth. Your teeth may look short or uneven. Lasers are becoming increasing popular for reduction procedures, due to quick and easy recoveries. As the laser trims the tissue it is simultaneously cauterizing it, which aids the healing process. Removing excess tissue can be more satisfying to the eye, but also keeps a tooth healthier because there is less of a pocket under the gums for bacteria to accumulate.

When There Isn’t Enough Gum Tissue Present

One of the most common gum problems is called recession, when the gum is too low and teeth look long.  Gum tissue is a key structure in keeping your teeth stable and healthy. Once the gum is loss, it will not regrow on its own. A periodontist or dentist can graft new tissue either from your palate (or possibly use donor tissue depending on the scenario and location in the mouth.) Grafting isn’t a quick solution; it can be tender in the days that follow the surgery. Bruising may occur and recovery may take a bit of time to fully heal …so learning about what caused the gum to recede is essential in preventing the need for this type of gum treatment again.

Both gum recontouring procedures are equally important reasons to correct your uneven appearance. Ultimately, they will increase the longevity of your smile. Ask your dentist if you need gingival recontouring!

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

May
3

After Periodontal Treatment: 3 Tools You Can’t Live Without

Posted in Periodontics

Have you recently undergone gum treatment or periodontal therapy?

If so, then you’ve probably been told that the process is far from over. To maintain the progress you’ve made, it’s important that you do your part in keeping your gums clean and healthy.

It’s absolutely essential that you keep the following three items a regular part of your oral hygiene routine.

Here are 3 tools you can’t afford to leave out:

  1. Floss

After periodontal treatment, it’s especially important that you use an interdental cleaner that fits the needs of your teeth and gums.

Depending on the size of the space between your teeth, you may need to access such areas with one or more of the following:

– Ribbon or tape floss

– Inter-dental brush

– Yarn

– Water flosser

  1. Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

Brushing two to three times a day is the key to controlling plaque formation. But doing so gently is more effective than vigorous scrubbing. If you brush too hard, you can just irritate your gums and cause more gum recession.

Encourage gentle brushing by using a toothbrush with soft or, if available, extra-soft bristles.

  1. Fluoride-Based Products

Whether a result of gum recession or periodontal surgery, you likely have more tooth root surfaces exposed than you normally would. These surfaces are not protected with enamel like the tops of your teeth are. You need to reinforce them with extra fluoride to prevent cavities from settling in.

Choose a fluoride-rich toothpaste to use at least twice a day and ask your dentist whether a fluoride rinse or supplementary treatment is right for you.

Regularly visit your dental office to make sure that you’re staying on top of your gum health.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

May
1

4 Ways Gum Disease Impacts Your Health

Posted in Periodontics

When it comes to gum disease, there’s far more at risk than just your gums.

This infection isn’t even just limited to your gums. The inflammation can quickly spread to undermine bone and ligaments. Once those supporting tissues are gone, your teeth lose critical support.

  1. Diabetes and Periodontitis

There is a definite link between gum disease (periodontitis) and a systemic condition such as diabetes. In either case, one condition will make the other worse if not controlled. Inflammation in the gums tends to cause a spike in blood sugar and vice versa.

Letting a gum problem go unchecked will make it much harder to live with diabetes.

  1. Heart – Gums Connection

Bacteria responsible for gum disease have been discovered in infections of the heart and blood vessels. Uncontrolled periodontitis has also been linked to other issues like stroke and Alzheimer’s.

  1. Placing Unborn Babies and Mothers at Risk

Studies indicate that chemicals produced by infected gums could play a role in inducing premature labor. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should make sure that their gums are in excellent condition.

  1. Nutritional Issues

Some people aren’t too worried about losing teeth to gum disease. What they fail to realize is just how important their teeth are. Without plenty of natural teeth, you can’t chew the foods that contain the nutrients your body needs.

Do you suspect that your gums show signs of infection?  Bleeding while brushing or flossing, puffy gums, and bad breath are all red flags. Don’t wait any longer to take action. Visit your local dentist to get a professional periodontal evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Elegant Smiles
1955 Cliff Valley Way NE #100
Brookhaven, GA 30329
404-634-4224

Feb
14

Understanding Periodontal Pockets

Posted in Periodontics

Ever heard of “pocketing” in the gums?

Whenever your dentist or hygienist measures your gums with a little dental probe and calls out numbers, they’re looking for periodontal pockets.

What Makes it a Pocket?

Your gums are not empty sockets around your teeth. They actually have tiny fibers that connect into the tooth. These fibers not only protect tooth roots, but they provide cushioning and support when you bite. All those ligaments and fibers make up the “periodontium” of your smile.

The empty space or shallow valley between a tooth and the gum tissue should not be very deep. A periodontal pocket happens when that trough of unattached gum tissue extends into the area where it should be attached.

The presence of a pocket also indicates that the bone supporting your tooth in that area is now gone. That’s even more bad news for your tooth.

Periodontal Pockets – Why They’re Dangerous

Why is a healthy periodontium so important?

As suggested earlier, the bone and ligaments around the roots of your teeth are critical for support. Once that support is lost, you risk losing the tooth. Not only that, but your gums are a gateway to the rest of your body. Periodontal disease in your gums can gradually affect your health in other ways.

How To Avoid Pockets

Your dentist will keep track of your gum health by taking measurements at least once a year. This will alert you to any areas of concern that need some more attention.

Keeping your teeth and gums clean is essential to avoiding an infection that triggers periodontal breakdown. Ask your dentist for suggestions on keeping your gums in top shape.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Feb
9

4 Reasons Why Your Gums Are Receding

Do your teeth look longer than they used to? Do you suffer from sensitive teeth when you eat or drink something hot or cold? These are common symptoms of gum recession. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue wears away and exposes more of your teeth. Since your gums are the foundational support for your teeth, neglecting to treat receding gums can eventually lead to tooth instability and even tooth loss. Before treating your receding gums, it is important to determine the cause.

Here are some common culprits to gum recession:

Gum Disease: The most serious cause of gum recession is periodontal disease, which involves an infection in the gum tissues, causing them to recede or pull away from the tooth root. You will likely notice bleeding and swelling in the gums as well if you have gum disease.

Tobacco Products: Long-term use of cigarettes and chewing tobacco are known to cause receding gums.

Heredity: Some patients can blame their parents for their receding gums. As many as one third of Americans will suffer from dental problems that they inherited. Always discuss your family’s dental history with your dentist.

Brushing Too Hard: If you are overzealous in your brushing efforts, you may be doing more harm than good. Removing plaque, stains and bacteria doesn’t require vigorous brushing habits. Make sure you are using a soft-bristled toothbrush and ease up on your strokes to protect your gums.

If you notice that your gums are receding, which typically develops on the front lower teeth, tell your dentist as soon as possible. Early and mild cases of gum recession can often be effectively treated with a deep cleaning. This removes any plaque and tartar along the gum line and tooth root and encourages the gums to reattach. Severe cases of gum recession may require a soft tissue graft.

Posted on behalf of:
Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
(703) 931-4544

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