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Important Role of Periodontist

It is believed that gum diseases are not prevalent in the society, a myth that needs to be debunked as this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Who is a periodontist?

A periodontist is a highly trained dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease includes gingivitis, which progresses to periodontitis when not treated.

How does one get gum disease?

Gum disease is inflammation of the gums that can affect the bones that support your teeth.2 This is caused by bacteria in the film surrounding the teeth called plaque. When the plaque is not removed, it becomes hard and forms tartar. This cannot be removed with regular brushing but must be removed by a dental professional through dental cleaning. Where the cleaning does not happen, the bacteria in the plaque infects the gums and the structures supporting the teeth.

There are three major stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

  •     Gingivitis   

This is the early stage where the gums are inflamed due to the buildup of plaque. Bleeding may occur when brushing and flossing. This can be reversed as the supporting structures of the teeth are not impacted.

  •      Periodontitis         

At this stage, we begin to see the irreversible damage taking place. Pockets begin to form below the gum line which encourages more plaque under the gum. It is at this stage that it is imperative to see a periodontist. The treatment given along with a change in oral care will prevent further damage to the supporting structures of the teeth.

  •      Advanced Periodontitis

At this advanced stage, there is so much damage that the teeth can begin to shift as the bone is now being destroyed. It may also affect bite and speech. The periodontist through therapy may be able to save the teeth and structures depending on the severity of the damage. Where the damage is too far gone, the periodontist will be able to provide options for restoration if the teeth must be removed.

Periodontitis occurs at any age. Where these diseases are present from a young age, other conditions, such as heart and respiratory diseases, and even diabetes are risk factors. 3 Risk factors increase the likelihood of periodontitis. These risks include:

  • Smoking
  • Hormonal changes in girls and women. The gums tend to be more sensitive and the likelihood of gingivitis developing increases.
  • Diabetes
  • Illnesses and their treatments. For instance, AIDS, cancer and their treatments affect the health of the gums.
  • Medications – some medications reduce the amount of saliva that the mouth produces. This in effect reduces the amount of protection in the moth against infections.
  • Genetic Vulnerability – Some persons are predisposed to developing gum disease.

When to see the periodontist?

With the onset of gum disease, the general dentist will be able to provide the basic treatment. Regular visits along with proper dental practices will treat and reverse the effects of plaque buildup.

The periodontist is brought on the scene when there is a progression of the gum disease, especially when coupled with complexities such as aging.

In 2011, the American Academy of Periodontology published the Comprehensive Periodontal Therapy Statement 4 where it is recommended that adults get an evaluation of their periodontal health. In this examination, the following is taken into consideration:

  •  The teeth
  •  Plaque
  •  Gum health
  •  Bite
  •  Bone Structure
  •  Risk Factors

Visiting a periodontist will help to assess the health of your mouth and where there is inflammation, early treatment may prevent the onset of periodontitis.

 Visit Dr. Vadivel T Kumar DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board-Certified Periodontist located in Carrollton & Grapevine, Texas. He will be able to evaluate and treat where necessary. As advised by the Academy of Periodontology, print out the following checklist, make your appointment to get started and be in the know where your dental health is concerned: Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation Checklist. Or visit to book your free consultation.

If you are presenting the symptoms of periodontitis that is listed in this article, give his office a call immediately at 817-756-8578. He will be able to provide you the care depending on the results of your evaluation. This may include:

  • Deep cleaning or scaling and root planing. Here there is the careful removal of plaque and tartar.
  • Periodontal pocket reduction therapy reduces the depth of pockets created with periodontitis. This increases your chance of keeping your teeth.
  • Dental implants are artificial tooth roots which bridge the replacement tooth to the bone for persons with advanced periodontitis.

A study of the prevalence of periodontal disease in adults in the United States (2009 – 2010) indicates that 47.2% of American adults have mild, moderate and severe periodontitis. It is imperative to see the periodontist as soon as possible. Early treatment means that you will be able to preserve your teeth and your smile.