Before you explore the world of dentistry, you may be puzzled to learn that there are vastly different branches. There’s a general dentistry knowledge about every specialist, but much like seeking out doctors for specific parts of your body, different dental specialists look at different aspects of your oral healthcare. As the gateway to our bodies, dental care is one of the most overlooked and important parts of our overall health. A periodontist could be exactly what you’re looking for, and for many reasons.
Periodontics: Major Schooling
General dentists go through a basic level of schooling. However, periodontists have to go through that, and more schooling and certification programs to grab the title. Periodontists focus on the analytical aspects of oral healthcare, and it’s for that reason that they need to know everything there is to know about general dentistry, and more. Periodontics are the outline to how your oral healthcare is, like the frame to a picture.
Why See a Periodontist?
There are a few major reasons that you may be referred to a periodontist instead of your general dentist. You may be confused. “Why are they sending me to another dentist? I already see them, can’t they help me?” Going into the intricate details of periodontics isn’t for everyone. A general dentist often seeks out assistance from specialists. Think of a periodontist as someone who’s preserving your perfect smile, while your general dentist is responsible for maintaining it.
If you’re going to see a periodontist, there can be several reasons:
What Else Does a Periodontist Perform?
A periodontist may perform certain extents of oral surgery. For example, if you lose a tooth and have it extracted, you can see major misalignment coming your way if it’s not taken care of properly. While many people don’t get a bridge between two teeth, they can get a revolutionary piece of dental tech called dental implants. Your periodontist does as you would image—they implant them in your gums to connect to your jawbone, as your other teeth do, and keep that space properly occupied.
This can help you in more ways than one. When your teeth are all in place, whether they are implants or not, you won’t see your smile misalign. This can avoid all the problems we covered earlier. Even if you perfectly brush three times a day, floss, use mouthwash, and you’ve never missed a dental appointment, you can still get a cavity from time to time. Then, you can lose that tooth. From there, your smile can misalign and wear down, and cause a lot more problems.
When your smile is misaligned, it can also lead to lisps and a sore jaw. Your periodontist is ensuring that your mouth is perfectly straight, and that issues with everything surrounding your teeth are all in check. To put it lightly, a periodontist is a tactician of how to perceive your oral healthcare.
Americans Don’t See Periodontists as Often as They Should
It’s estimated that half of all Americans over the age of thirty have gum disease in one form or another. That number is estimated because they don’t’ see periodontists as often as they should. Gum disease can lead to a lot more problems than just having pink in the sink, or other immediately impactful things. You can experience slow degeneration of your gums, as well as other parts of your body. Your oral healthcare affects a great deal of your body.
Improperly managed oral healthcare has been linked to dementia, cardiovascular issues, and respiratory problems. While science is still figuring out all of the connections, the numbers are staggering, and the evidence of improper oral healthcare affecting the rest of your body is stacking up. Think of your periodontist as your oral healthcare manager. You just need a performance review every few months.
The key to avoiding a lot of health issues comes with protecting your oral health. It’s not just about your teeth; your gums, your tongue, and the walls of your cheeks. Glands in your mouth absorb everything, so when you’re looking to have the best possible oral health, you need to look at a few things that will help you.
Avoid The Issues With a Periodontist
You can avoid every issue listed here by visiting your periodontist. If those issues persist regardless, your periodontist will be more than equipped to help you and handle your needs, bringing you back to a perfect smile and the best oral healthcare you’ve ever had. Contact Walker Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at (972) 462-9800 to get a handle on your oral healthcare with the most trusted professionals in the dentist. You’ll be wondering why you didn’t see a periodontist sooner.
Stephen S. Walker, D.D.S., M.S.
Dr. Walker is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Periodontology. He grew up in Dallas and attended Baylor College of Dentistry. While at Baylor, he was a member of the Odontological Honors Society and was selected to receive the Oral Biology Award and Merritt-Parks Award in Periodontics.