While you may be quite familiar with the services offered by your general dentist, you may not know what a periodontist can do to improve your oral health. Periodontists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of gum disease as well as implant dentistry. Dr. Jean-Claude Kharmouche, an experienced periodontist in Leesburg, VA, provides a list of frequently asked questions below, in order to help patients become familiar with periodontal health and treatments.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection caused by bacteria. The bacteria live in the plaque that builds up on your teeth and can infect the gum tissue. The infection begins with subtle symptoms but over time, can destroy your smile.

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Gingivitis, the first stage, begins with swollen, bleeding gums. The bacteria will destroy the connective tissue that supports the teeth. This results in wider periodontal pockets, gum recession, and loose teeth. Additional symptoms include bad breath, tooth sensitivity, and bone loss.

Should I Be Worried About Gum Disease?

While bacteria are always present in your mouth, regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings clear them away. Neglecting to brush and floss, or skipping visits to the periodontist will increase your risk of developing gum disease. This chronic infection has been linked to an increased incident of systemic illnesses, including stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

How Is Gum Disease Treated?

If the infection is caught early, it may be treated with non-surgical methods, like antibiotic therapy or scaling and planing. When gum disease has advanced, however, osseous surgery may be necessary.

Should I See a Periodontist for Dental Implants?

While other doctors may offer dental implants, periodontists specialize in implant dentistry. This is especially critical when considering the permanence of dental implants. Periodontists have additional training that allows them to safely and effectively restore missing teeth, receding gums, and lost bone volume.

Can My Gummy Smile Be Corrected?

Gummy smiles are the result of excess gum tissue, hiding the tooth surface. A periodontist can perform a gingivectomy to uncover more of the tooth surface and contour the gum tissue to give the teeth an attractive, even frame.

If you would like to visit a periodontist in Leesburg, VA, call our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kharmouche. We would be happy to help you improve the health of your smile.