A periodontist deals mainly with anything that has to do with the health of your gums and also the installation of dental implants. This branch of dentistry will treat and prevent gum disease from happening and treating it once it is present, but will also look into the health of your gums and jaw structure when dealing with dental implants.
A doctor that specializes in periodontics is an expert in dealing with oral inflammation, particularly that of the gums. They will make sure your gums are healthy and prevent gum disease through procedures like scaling and root planning, gum surgery and also management of soft tissue lesion.
Scaling and Root Planning
We are all very familiar with dental cleanings; a professional dental cleaning thoroughly cleans your mouth, between your teeth and those hard to reach areas. You have also noticed that the doctor uses different tools to scrape off any buildup or tartar from your teeth. The tool he uses looks like a little hook, and it helps him get deep into your gums to reach areas where bacteria might be growing. When there is gum disease and a normal cleaning doesn't do much, the procedure that would help would then be scaling and root planning.
Scaling will help get rid of the thin film that is produced by bacteria over the surface of your teeth which then builds up, tartar and plaque are also scrapped off during scaling, and the whole surface of your tooth including your gums are cleaned. When there is inflammation or infection caused by bacteria, the bacteria will create pockets between your gum and tooth, the deeper the pocket is, the deeper the doctor needs to go to clean it out. Because the gum tissue is inflamed, then the dentist will cut off the extra gum tissue and then help it reattach to the bone.
Gum surgery will be recommended to you when there is inflammation of the gums. When they appear puffy, red and inflamed, that means here is an infection caused most likely by bacteria. When bacteria starts accumulating near your gum line and tooth, a mix of their saliva and waste forms a thin film. With poor oral hygiene, the bacteria starts infecting the gum.
Your dentists will suggest gum surgery is if your teeth appear small, and you have a "gummy" smile, this means that the gum tissue has grown over your tooth which makes them seem shorter. Cutting through the excess of gum tissue will let your doctor reshape the tissue around your tooth to give it a better appearance. However, if gum tissue has been lost and the contrary is happening, where your tooth is being exposed more than it should due to a loss of tissue, then gum grafts will be stitched over your teeth and give them a more natural look.
Management of soft tissue lesion
When there is a lesion in the soft tissue in the mouth, it can be a serious issue. If it is inflammation in the gums that is called periodontitis and a periodontist can treat and manage it if that is the case. However, other soft tissue such as the cheeks or palate can also suffer from lesions. If you have noticed anything abnormal about the tissue in your mouth such as a bump or inflammation around a specific area, then we recommend you seek immediate medical help. After being examined by your dentist, the lesion will be managed by using a special dye to best determine if it is a benign or malign formation. A biopsy might then be needed to help manage the progress of the lesion and a quick follow up to better diagnose and manage the situation.
If you would like to know more about these procedures and have any questions, call (708) 300-9352 or visit us at 500 River Oakes Dr., Calumet City, IL 60409 – our dentist will more than gladly assist you answering any questions or concerns you might have.