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The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Why Should You See a Periodontist?
Karl A. Smith, DDS, LLC
. http://www.drkarlsmith.com/

Why Should You See a Periodontist?

The truth is over 50% of the population above age 35 has some form of periodontal disease. If you have never had a periodontal evaluation and you are older than 35, you should call a periodontist today for an appointment.

I was recently diagnosed with periodontal disease. How often should I see my periodontist for an examination?

Regular examinations are very important to keep track of the present status of your disease and any disease progression over time. Your periodontist will work with you to create a maintenance schedule depending on how advanced your periodontal disease is at that time.

Based on many variable factors such as your overall health, the severity of bone loss, and risk factors such as smoking and genetics, your periodontist will constantly tailor your care so your periodontal disease does not progress further.

He or she may recommend exams every six months for mild periodontal disease, or every few months for more advanced stages.

Other than to diagnose and treat gum disease, what else have periodontists been trained to do?

Periodontists place dental implants when natural teeth cannot be saved. They also monitor the implants to make sure that they're properly doing their job.

Periodontists may also correct gum recession and cover up exposed root surfaces, which can be unsightly as well as sensitive to hot and cold. These procedures are often used to lay the foundation for additional cosmetic procedures to help create a beautiful smile.

Finally, periodontists can be integral in the comprehensive planning of your oral care, along with your general dentist or other dental professional. Their goal is for you to keep your teeth for a lifetime.

What are the consequences of missing teeth?

Missing teeth will affect the esthetics of your face. Not only will your smile be affected by the gaps from missing teeth, but if you're missing too many teeth, the skin around your mouth won't be supported properly and will start to sag, making you appear older than you are.

Additionally, missing teeth will make it more difficult to chew your food properly and may even affect the way you speak. If you are currently missing any of your teeth, consider replacing them with dental implants, which can look and feel just like natural teeth.

I have big gums and short teeth, so when I smile you can almost only see my gums. Is there a way to improve my smile?

Yes, there may be a way to enhance your smile. It's a good idea to discuss your options with a periodontist first. He or she can explain the best way to create the smile you want, as well as answer any questions that you may have.

For example, one procedure that can remove excess gum tissue is called crown lengthening. After the excess gum tissue is removed, the gum line is then reshaped in order to create the right proportion between gum tissue and tooth surface.

What can I do at home to prevent periodontal disease?

The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to take good care of your teeth and gums at home. This includes brushing your teeth after every meal and before bedtime, flossing at least once each day, and seeing your dentist or periodontist for regular exams twice a year.

Spending a few minutes a day on preventative measures may save you the time and money of treating periodontal disease.

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