What is Periodontics?
If you are like most people, your idea of dental care is a dental cleaning twice a year coupled with regular at-home brushing and flossing. You may be completely unaware of specialized types of dentists like periodontists. Perhaps you have heard the term thrown around while visiting your dentist or come upon it while researching dental care online. Read on if you are asking yourself: what is periodontics?
What Is Periodontics?
Starting with the textbook definition, periodontics is a special dental branch dealing with diseases of the supportive tissues of the teeth. These include the gums, bone, and the connective tissue connecting teeth to bone. Periodontists focus on preventing, diagnosing, and treating periodontal diseases. They are also heavily interested in helping maintain the health and aesthetic appearance of the mouths of their patients.
When Do I Need to See a Periodontist?
Now that you have a better idea of what is periodontics, you are probably wondering what this branch of dentistry has to do with you and your mouth. Ideally, you would never come in contact with a periodontist and would maintain optimal dental health your life long. The reality is that teeth and gums are not perfect, and problems like plaque buildup frequently happen. Daily dental maintenance like brushing and flossing removes most of the bacteria leftover from the foods you eat. When brushing and flossing are not enough, and the amount of bacteria in your mouth reaches an unhealthy level, infection can occur. Your gums may become red, inflamed, and sensitive to the touch. They might also bleed after brushing or flossing. These are signs of the most common and earliest case of gum disease, also called gingivitis. Visiting a periodontist for treatment is highly recommended in this instance.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Most cases of gum disease are caught early at your regular dental cleanings and require only non-surgical treatment to alleviate any physical damage and prevent further infection. To relieve bacterial infection, our Los Angeles periodontist will often perform procedures known as scaling and root planing. These procedures involve deeper cleaning than that performed twice a year during routine dental exams. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria from the teeth and gum line, meanwhile topical antibiotics are occasionally administered to the patient.
Hopefully now you have a better idea of what is periodontics, and you know how to recognize and treat early signs of gum disease. If you require dental care, contact our dental office in Los Angeles to schedule a consultation or appointment.
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