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Jean-Claude Kharmouche, DMD
Who Is a Periodontist?
NOVA Perio Specialists

Who Is a Periodontist?

Have you been told that you may have periodontal disease and need to see a periodontist? If you have, you probably thought, “What is periodontal disease and why do I need a periodontist?”
Periodontal Disease
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. The word periodontal refers to the gum tissue and bone around the tooth. Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Left untreated, it is one of the primary causes of adult tooth loss. Also, research has found a relationship between periodontal disease and more serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and preterm low birth weight babies.
Dental Implants
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that a periodontist places into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own. When placed by a skilled periodontist and maintained diligently by the patient, implants can last a lifetime.
Enhancing Your Smile
If youre not happy with your smile, a periodontist can perform cosmetic periodontal procedures that reshape your gumline and help you achieve the look and smile you want.
Advanced training
Periodontists receive three additional years of education beyond dental school. They have extensive training in the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, placing dental implants, and performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.
Your first visit
You dont need a referral to see a periodontist, and you may choose to go directly to one. During your first visit, your complete medical and dental history is reviewed with you. It is very important for your periodontist to know if you are taking any medications or being treated for any condition because it may affect your care. Your gums will be examined to see if there is any gum line recession, and your teeth will be checked to see if any are loose and how the teeth fit together when you bite. A small measuring instrument is placed it between your teeth and gums to determine the depth of spaces known as periodontal pockets. X-rays may also be taken to observe the health of the bone below your gums. There will be a discussion of treatment options with you.


When should you see a periodontist?
Anytime is a good time for a periodontal evaluation. Often the only way to detect if you have periodontal disease is through a periodontal evaluation. Periodontal disease is sometimes silent and you may not know that you have it.
Symptoms include
Gums that bleed easily, such as during brushing and flossing
Persistent bad breath
Red, swollen or tender gums
Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
Pus between the teeth and gums
Loose or separating teeth
A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
If you have any of the above symptoms, you may want to visit a periodontist today.
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