Many people have questions about periodontics and implant dentistry. We have provided this page to answer frequently asked questions to help you get the information you need to make decisions about your oral health and treatments. If you have further questions or want to schedule a meeting with our Board Certified periodontist in Salt Lake City, Utah, please contact Salt Lake Implants & Periodontics today at 801-266-3519. Dr. Mark Mangelson is looking forward to meeting you, addressing your questions and concerns and talking with you about your treatment plan.
What Is Periodontics?
Periodontics is the branch of dentistry dealing with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases of your gums and supporting bones of your teeth. A periodontist is a dentist that has completed three years of postgraduate training beyond dental school in order to specialize in periodontics.
What Is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is an inflammation and/or pathology associated with gum tissue and loss of bone and gum tissue attachment around the teeth. Periodontal disease is responsible for 75-80% of all adult tooth loss. A periodontist will evaluate and treat these problems so that comprehensive care can be given to your mouth and total health. Many techniques are now available to restore receding gums and bone that may have been lost due to periodontal disease. In addition, dental implant technology may be used to replace missing teeth and provide an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable bite. Periodontal disease begins when the bacteria in the plaque around your teeth produce toxins (or poisons) that irritate the gums, causing infection. These toxins can lead to destruction of the tissue and bone around the teeth. When this happens, the gums separate from the teeth to form a pocket — called a periodontal pocket. As more tissue is destroyed, the pocket gets deeper and the teeth may loosen and eventually fall out.
Periodontal Disease: What Are the Warning Signs?
The following signs and symptoms may give a clue to having gum disease:
- Bleeding upon brushing
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bad breath or bad taste
- Loose teeth
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
- Pus between your teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
- Any changes in the fit of partial dentures
What Are the Risk Factors?
- Poor oral hygiene – Plaque remaining on the teeth can lead to periodontal infections
- Smoking and use of tobacco – Increases your chances of getting severe forms of the disease and may limit success of treatment
- Pregnancy – Changes in hormone levels may make the gums more sensitive to plaque
- Stress – Makes it hard for the body to fight off infection
- Medications – Some drugs, such as birth control pills, antidepressants, heart medications, seizure medicines and cancer drugs may affect your gums
- Clenching or grinding your teeth – Puts extra force on the supporting tissues and could speed up the disease
- Diseases – Some diseases like diabetes and HIV make you more prone to infection and make periodontal diseases more severe
- Poor Diet – Can make it harder for the body to fight off infection
- Partials that no longer fit – Increases the chances of retaining plaque
Who Is Affected by Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
One in three adults have periodontal (gum) disease, and most do not know they have it. Can periodontal disease be successfully treated? The treatment has good prognosis if the disease is caught in the early stages of the process. The more advanced, the more aggressive the treatment plan. Maintaining good oral hygiene and having regular periodontal cleanings is vital to the treatment process.
Is Periodontal Care Expensive?
Periodontal therapy may eliminate the need for other medical and dental treatment. Early intervention will reduce costs. Most periodontal procedures may be covered by dental insurance. Contact your insurance company for questions regarding coverage. Our office can also assist you with financial arrangements tailored to your individual needs.