What is Periodontics?

The soft periodontal (gum) tissue that surrounds the roots of your teeth serve several vital purposes. For instance, your gums stabilize your teeth, and protect your roots from irritation and harmful oral bacteria. When these tissues become compromised, so do your teeth. In fact, severe gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss.

Periodontics is the study and treatment of your periodontal tissues. If you suffer from gingivitis or gum disease, periodontal treatment may be your best chance to stem the disease and preserve your healthy, natural smile.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

Gum disease leads to missing teeth by destroying the periodontal tissues and jawbone structure that supports them. However, in its beginning stages, gum disease isn’t as dramatic as its more severe stages. Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, can develop slowly as oral bacteria accumulate on and underneath your gums.

Eventually, the infection will cause your gums to become red and swollen, and you may notice bleeding when you brush and floss your teeth. If so, then schedule a consultation as soon as possible to determine if gum disease is present.

Can I still save my teeth if gum disease develops?

The good news is that with early treatment, you can stop the more destructive consequences of gum disease, including tooth loss. For example, if gingivitis is detected early, it may be reversed with a periodontal cleaning (scaling and root planing).

Scaling and root planing involves removing plaque and tartar that travel under the gumline and develop on your roots.  After the procedure, your gums heal and reattach firmly to your teeth, although you may still require more frequent checkups to maintain good periodontal health.

What does periodontics have to do with dental implants?

Many patients who lose teeth to gum disease choose to replace them with dental implants – the most comprehensive and lifelike dental prosthetic option available. Because the implant posts are inserted into the jawbone underneath the gums, it is important that you exhibit good periodontal health before they can be placed.

After a thorough periodontal and dental examination, Dr. Petto Messina will consult with you to discuss your dental implant placement, or to plan further periodontal treatment, if necessary.