Healthy Gums, Healthy Mouth
When various conditions affect the health of your gums and the regions of your jawbone that hold your teeth in place, periodontal treatment may be necessary. Retaining your teeth is directly dependent on proper periodontal care and maintenance. While a general dentist can treat gum disease through routine cleanings, periodontists are needed for diagnosis and advanced treatments of gum disease or periodontitis.
Periodontist vs. General Dentist
General Dentists helps keep your gums healthy through routine cleanings, whereas periodontists are oral health professionals with extensive and specialized training in issues having to do with periodontal disease and the placement of dental implants. In addition to dental school, periodontists receive an extra three years of specialized training to become experts in tooth and gum health.
Periodontists prevent, diagnose and treat periodontal or gum disease, which is a common condition that causes the gums to become irritated and inflamed. If not treated, periodontal disease can be painful and cause your teeth to become loose and fall out over time.
At Icon Dental Center in South Everett and Downtown Seattle, Dr. Joanna Valentine and Dr. Nadia Aboulhosn work hard to provide our patients with the best periodontal and dental care in a comfortable and pleasant atmosphere. Our doctors and specialists work together to coordinate dental care and provide our patients with a comprehensive dental treatment plan.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Periodontal disease is an ongoing infection in the gums that gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth and over time it can cause your teeth to become loose and fall out. While there are multiple diseases which affect the tooth-supporting structures, plaque-induced inflammatory lesions make up the majority of periodontal issues. These can be divided into two categories: gingivitis and periodontis. Gingivitis is reversible, but if untreated may worsen to be periodontitis, which irreversibly destroys gum and bone tissue.
Causes of Gingivitis
Dental plaque, a sticky, colorless film, is the primary cause of gingivitis. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth and the bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums. As a result, your gums may become inflamed, red, swollen or bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged the gums can start to separate from the teeth resulting in pockets or spaces to form.
80% of Americans will be afflicted with periodontal disease by age 45 and 4 out 5 patients with the disease are not aware they have it.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
Other factors that can increase your risk to getting periodontal disease include:
- Smoking / tobacco use
- Systemic diseases that interfere with the body’s immune system
- Uncontrolled Diabetes
- Clenching or grinding your teeth
- Medications such as oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, blood pressure medications, and certain heart medicines
- Poor nutrition
- Pregnancy and puberty
Reducing Your Risk
The best preventative measure you can take to reduce your risk of getting periodontal disease is maintaining proper oral care at home and visiting the dentist twice per year for dental teeth cleanings and exams. Your dentist and periodontist will be decide how best to control your periodontal disease controlled if you are diagnosed.
Our Periodontal Treatments Include
- Dental implants
- Bone grafts
- Gum recession & gingival grafts
- Crown lengthening
- Biopsy & oral pathology
- Periodontal surgery
- Wisdom teeth extractions (3rd molar extractions)
Call us today if you think you are at risk for periodontal disease or if you have been diagnosed and are seeking treatment.