Periodontics is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. It focuses on treatment of the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth and jaw.
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, often begins as a buildup of plaque on the surface of teeth near the gum line. If not removed by regular brushing and flossing, the plaque can harden into tartar. Eventually the gums will become red, swollen, and irritated. This is known as gingivitis.
If left untreated, gingivitis can worsen into periodontal disease. If that is not treated, it can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. Periodontal disease during pregnancy has been linked to premature birth or low birth weight.
Risk factors for periodontal disease
You may be at risk of periodontal disease if you smoke or use tobacco products, do not regularly brush your teeth and floss, have health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or osteoporosis, or have family members that have had gum disease. In some cases, it can be genetic.
If you observe any of the symptoms of gum disease, schedule an appointment with our office, and we’ll determine if treatment is necessary.