All periodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are periodontists. What’s the difference? Your general dentist knows a little bit about a lot of different dental conditions but a periodontist specializes in issues concerning the gums and soft tissue in your mouth. Although many dentists offer treatment for gum disease, they do not have the technology and information available to periodontists who build their whole practices around the treatment of your gums.
Periodontal disease is a much bigger problem than just bleeding gums. Periodontitis is an actual infection caused by bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria damages tooth enamel, gum tissue and can even travel to other parts of your body through the bloodstream. Oral bacteria have been found in the heart and even brain tissue and are believed to cause disease in those areas as well.
Most general dentists are only able to perform a deep cleaning known as subgingival scaling to combat gum disease, but a board-certified periodontist can offer many more options such as LANAP, Pinhole Surgical TechniqueTM and gum grafting. These procedures not only thoroughly clean your teeth, they enable to gums to heal and your natural gumline to be restored.
Now we aren’t knocking general dentists by any means. They play a vital role in your oral health by providing twice-yearly checkups and professional cleanings to patients and referring them to us when a periodontal problem is discovered. We work together to ensure that you have the healthiest smile possible.
If your dentist has determined that you require treatment for gum disease, have them fill out our convenient referral form to get the process started. The sooner you visit a periodontist, the less severe the damage that occurs in your mouth will be.