If you’re worried you might be at risk for periodontitis, here are some important frequently asked questions you might find helpful.
1. What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection surrounding the teeth and gums that usually develops from untreated gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums which occurs from a buildup of plaque. If left too long, plaque and calculus can build up allowing bacteria to grow in number under the gums and the infection develops, affecting the gums and bone around the tooth. Over time the structures supporting the tooth weakens and the tooth may be lost.
2. What is the primary cause of periodontal disease?
When the bacteria from the plaque buildup infiltrates deep beneath the gum lines, it can cause a more serious internal infection known as periodontal disease.
3. How do I know if I need periodontal care?
You may or may not experience the following symptoms:
- Swollen, red, gums that bleed easily
- Halitosis, also known as bad breath or mouth odour
- Loose teeth or tooth loss
4. Is it possible to cure periodontal disease?
Yes, periodontal disease is highly treatable and the earlier it’s detected, the better your chances are of being cured.
5. What is a periodontal dentist?
A periodontal dentist, or periodontist, is a specialist who has more training than a regular dentist when it comes to treating and curing periodontal infections and diseases.
6. How is periodontal disease diagnosed?
Periodontal disease can be detected from a basic tooth and gum examination. Your dentist or periodontist will typically examine the alignment of your teeth, check for movement or loose teeth and measure both gum recession and periodontal pockets. The pockets are a gap between the teeth and gums.
7. Why do dentists refer patients to periodontists?
Periodontists are more qualified to diagnose and treat advanced infections, such as periodontitis, than dentists are.
8. Why must I start treatment right away?
The sooner you start treatment, the sooner your dentist and periodontist can implement proper periodontal maintenance and prevent the infection from wreaking further havoc on your oral health. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to permanent tooth loss.
9. How long does it take to recover from periodontal surgery?
Recovery time is arbitrary because each patient requires different levels of treatment and some may require longer post-operative or treatment care than others.
10. Does periodontal treatment hurt?
Thanks to advanced treatment options and the instillation of preventative measures to reduce periodontal cleaning pain and side effects, most patients report feeling little to no pain or discomfort throughout the treatment process.
11. How do my general dentist and periodontist work to help me?
Your general dentist will work tirelessly to see you on a more regular basis throughout the treatment process. If there’s anything that goes beyond the scope of their expertise, they’ll report it to your periodontist for further advanced treatment options.
12. What happens after I receive treatment for periodontal disease?
Following the treatment, your periodontist and general dentist together will prescribe maintenance therapy, which is specialized continuous preventative treatment that stops periodontal disease from reemerging. This includes regularly scheduled check-ups and cleanings as well as at-home care methods.
13. Is a periodontist covered by medical insurance?
While many dental insurance policies do cover the cost of periodontal maintenance and cleanings, the onus is still on you as the patient to ascertain payment.
14. When will I go back to my general dentist?
You should continue seeing your general dentist on a regular basis even throughout your periodontal care because they’ll be working very closely with your periodontist to treat your condition.
15. What can I do to prevent periodontal disease?
Take proper care of your teeth. Brush twice daily and floss once before going to bed. You should also schedule dental check-ups and cleanings at least once every six months and more frequently if there is any sign of periodontal disease.
Princeview Dental Group is a local Etobicoke dental clinic that routinely examine their patients oral condition including checking for periodontal disease. Call Princeview Dental if you have a specific question or need regarding periodontal treatment and referral.