What is a Periodontist?
We hear about the dangers of cavities all the time, but did you know that there’s an even greater threat to your smile? Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in America. The best way to counteract gum disease is to be vigilant about your oral hygiene and to stay on top of your routine visits to Heartland Periodontics.
Dangers of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease, which is often referred to as gum disease, is caused by the bacteria that feeds off plaque and tartar in your mouth. Gum disease can cause tooth loss and is a risk factor for heart and lung diseases. The easiest way to avoid gum disease is to remove this plaque and tartar actively. You can accomplish this by maintaining a regimen of good oral care, including daily brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups.
Gum disease develops in two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is the most common and mild form of gum disease. It causes irritation, redness, and swelling of the gums surrounding the base of your teeth. Treating gingivitis involves a professional cleaning, an oral rinse, and it doesn’t hurt to continue having good oral health habits.
Periodontitis is the more severe form of gum disease. Unlike with gingivitis, a serious case of periodontitis damages the soft tissue and ruins the bone that supports your teeth.
Symptoms of periodontitis are as follows:
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Tender gums
- Bright red, dark red, or purplish gums
- Receding gums
- Bleeding gums
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Painful chewing
The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes periodontics as one of the nine dental specialties. A periodontist is a dentist with specialized training that focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases that affect the gums, as well as the placement of dental implants.
In order to become a periodontist like Dr. Kirsch, a person must first graduate dental school. From there, they must participate in continuing education courses as part of a periodontist residency that generally takes about three years to complete.
The most common procedures that a periodontist performs are:
- Dental implants
- Root planing & scaling
- Crown lengthening
- Connective tissue grafting
Periodontics & Dental Implants in Sebring, FL
In addition to treating gum disease, periodontists are uniquely qualified to place dental implants. If you have any concerns about the condition of your gums or if you are interested in learning more about what dental implants can do for your smile, please contact Heartland Periodontics at 863-658-0440. Dr. Michael Kirsch and our entire team are here to serve you in Sebring and the surrounding counties.