Periodontists are dental specialists who focus on the gums and bones of the mouth. However, periodontists do not perform root canals. Endodontists, those who specialize on the dental health inside the tooth, are the ones who perform root canals. While they do not perform root canals, there is a lot that periodontists do to ensure the health of your mouth. Let’s dive deeper into the basics of periodontics and if you may need to see one.
What does a Periodontist Do?
Despite not performing root canals, periodontists perform several other important dental procedures. A periodontist specializes in preventing and treating gum disease, known as periodontitis. Periodontitis occurs when the gums around your teeth get infected, leading to irritation and plaque buildup that can develop further into gum recession and bone loss.
Treatments to periodontitis include root planing and scaling, nonsurgical methods of removing plaque from around and under the gums. Periodontists typically perform these procedures when gum disease is noticed early, stopping it from advancing any further. In cases of moderate to severe periodontitis, surgery is an option. Surgical treatments offered by periodontists include laser assisted periodontal therapy, pocket reduction surgery, and even gum and bone grafting. While it may seem daunting, these are minimally invasive procedures that allow for plaque to be effectively removed from under the gum line and for any gum or bone loss to be treated.
When Should I See a Periodontist?
If you are in need of a root canal, your dentist will likely refer you to an endodontist. However, if you are experiencing gum irritation or advanced gum disease, a periodontist is your best bet. You should contact a periodontist if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Receding gum line
Even if you are not experiencing these symptoms, there is still a lot you can do to prevent periodontitis and protect your gums. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash to break down plaque and stop gum disease from occurring. Certain factors may make you more at risk of developing periodontitis, like smoking, diabetes, crooked teeth, and stress. You should be sure to meet with your dentist annually, or more frequently if you have a predisposition to gum disease.
If your dentist notices periodontitis, they may choose to refer you to a periodontist for a more specialized consultation. However, a referral is not needed at Village Periodontics and Dental Implant Center. If you’re concerned about symptoms you are experiencing, make an appointment with Village Periodontics today to receive the best care available.