To give you a better understanding of periodontal disease and your treatments, Dr. Samuel Yee DDS and our team have provided this page of answers to frequently asked questions. If you have further questions, or to make your appointment with our dentist in Aliso Viejo, California, please call Samuel Yee DDS INC at 949-831-3111.
What is a periodontist?
A periodontist is a dental specialist who has received up to 3 years of additional training following dental school to diagnose and treat gum disease and related dental conditions.
When should I see a periodontist?
You should see a periodontist if you notice any of the signs of gum disease. A periodontist will be able to provide thorough treatments specific to your needs. Your general dentist may also refer you to a periodontist if they notice periodontal disease during your routine exams and cleanings.
What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
Symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums, or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard foods
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of dentures or other removable appliances
- Halitosis (bad breath)
What causes periodontal disease?
Gum disease is caused by the bacteria trapped in plaque. As plaque accumulates on your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth infect and inflame your gums, causing them to separate from the teeth and creating pockets that harbor colonies of bacteria. If untreated, this can cause periodontal disease to develop to the point where it is irreversible.
Is there more than one type of periodontal disease?
Yes. In its milder stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis can be easily halted and treated, and has very mild effects. The more severe stages of this disease are known as periodontitis, and often include gum recession, bone loss, and tooth loss. You will likely need a surgical procedure to treat periodontitis, and, unfortunately, there is no complete cure for this type of gum disease.
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
You can prevent periodontal disease by practicing good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly. Professional dental care will enable you to quickly treat gum disease in the early stages, while good oral hygiene can help reduce the likelihood that you will develop this condition. While you still may suffer from milder form of the disease, it is far less likely to have a negative impact on your oral health.
The risk of developing gum disease increases if you smoke or use tobacco products, or if you have a systemic medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or osteoporosis.