What Does A Periodontist Do?

A dentist with dental assistant in modern dental surgery

When people think about a plastic surgeon—scar reductions, facelifts, and tummy tucks quickly come to their minds. But did you know that some dental specialists also perform plastic surgery? That’s right—periodontists do—and they focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mouth and gum diseases.

Table of Contents

What Conditions Can a Periodontist Improve or Rectify?

A Gummy Smile or an Uneven Gum Line

Are you self-conscious about your teeth because you think they look too short or because you believe your smile shows too much of your gums? If so, then crown lengthening might be right for you. It involves removing excess gum tissue to expose more of the bottom of the tooth. Your gum line is then shaped to give your smile the perfect look. 

Long Teeth/Exposed Roots

Receding gums can lead to the exposure of the pink tissue that covers the roots of the teeth, which frequently makes the tooth sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages. Gum recession becomes a health issue when the roots of the teeth become exposed and leave the teeth at risk of decay, infection and loss. Gum graft surgery covers exposed roots, which reduces further recession and protects vulnerable roots from decay.

Indentations in the Gums and Jawbone

The loss of a tooth often brings about depressions in the gum and jawbone where the tooth once was, which can result in the replacement tooth’s looking too long compared to the other teeth. Periodontists can correct this imperfection to recapture the natural contour of the gums and jaw.

Get Treatment for One of These Conditions

The office and periodontist you choose for treatment must be deeply committed to each patient’s oral health and appreciate that every patient is unique. Your periodontist should present all of your available options and deliver the results you expect.

Periodontist FAQs

You should consider seeing a periodontist if you’re experiencing symptoms like persistent bad breath, gum bleeding, swollen or receding gums, or loose teeth. Additionally, if you have a family history of gum disease, smoke, or have certain health conditions like diabetes, you may benefit from a periodontal evaluation. Periodontists can offer specialized therapies to help manage and enhance oral health. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. Regular dental check-ups can also help catch any potential issues early on, prompting a referral to a periodontist if necessary.

The frequency of visits to a periodontist depends on individual factors such as gum disease, overall oral health, and risk factors like smoking or diabetes. Typically, individuals with gum disease may need more frequent visits every few months for monitoring and treatment adjustments. For those with healthy gums, a yearly visit to a periodontist for a comprehensive evaluation and preventive care can suffice. However, it’s essential to follow the recommendations of your dentist and periodontist to ensure optimal oral health and catch any potential issues early on.

During an appointment with a periodontist, you can expect a comprehensive examination of your gums and oral health. This typically involves a review of your medical history, assessing any symptoms you may be experiencing, and thoroughly examining your gums, teeth, and jawbone. The periodontist may use tools such as a probe to measure the depth of gum pockets and X-rays to assess bone health.

Based on their findings, they will discuss treatment options tailored to your specific needs, which may include deep cleaning procedures, gum surgery, or other interventions to address gum disease and promote oral health.