A general dentist typically refers a patient to a periodontist for problematic periodontal cases such as gum disease, or in situations where a patient has a complex medical history.
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. Dr. Anbari, our Board Certified Periodontist, is also an expert in treating oral inflammation and placing and maintaining dental implants. Periodontists have extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school.
Dr. Anbari offers a wide range of treatments, such as scaling and root planing, to restore the infected surface of the root of the tooth, and root surface debridement to remove damaged gum tissue. Dr. Anbari can also address severe gum issues with oral surgery.
Periodontal treatment is critical to maintaining your oral and overall health. Periodontal (gum) disease is a leading cause of tooth loss and is associated with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a result of bacteria in our mouths causing inflammation around a tooth. Bacteria forms a sticky, colorless film on your teeth called plaque. Brushing and flossing help remove plaque, but plaque that remains on your teeth can harden and form tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.
The bacteria in plaque and tartar can cause gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums. When you have gingivitis, your gums typically become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed by regular cleanings by a dentist or dental hygienist, as well as daily brushing and flossing. When gingivitis is not treated quickly enough, it can advance to periodontitis. Periodontitis is when gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (often referred to as pockets) that become infected. Your body’s immune system fights the bacteria as it spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. When periodontitis is not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are eventually destroyed, often causing tooth loss.
What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Some symptoms of gum disease include:
Bad breath that won’t go away
Red or swollen gums
Tender or bleeding gums
Receding gums or teeth that appear longer than average
What to Expect
During your first visit, Dr. Anbari will review your complete medical and dental history and examine the health of your gums, assess your bite, and check the stability of your teeth. X-rays may also be taken to observe the health of the bone below the gum line. Dr. Anbari will come up with a treatment plan to control any infection and help restore oral health. The number and types of treatment will vary, depending on your specific circumstances.