A major part of maintaining a healthy smile is taking care of your gums. These supportive structures are made of tissue and covered by a protective layer called the oral mucosa, which protects your mouth from injury and infection. Gums are so important to oral health that an entire specialty is dedicated to them: periodontics.
What Is Periodontics?
This practice focuses on caring for your gums (gingivae) and other structures that support your teeth. These include:
- The periodontal ligament (PDL): While many think the gums keep teeth intact, that job actually falls to the periodontal ligament. Made from various types of collagen fibers, the PDL holds teeth in place.
- Cementum: The cementum is a hard layer of tissue that covers the root of your teeth.
- Roots: Roots contain a network of blood vessels and nerves and connect the tooth to the jaw bone.
- Alveolar Bone: Also known as the alveolar process, this bone contains the teeth sockets and connects them to the maxilla and mandible jaw bones.
As you can see, periodontics is a complex specialty! Dentists who specialize in this field are called periodontists. You may be referred to one if your dentist determines you need treatment for serious gum disease, or they recommend you get a root canal or dental implant.
Common Periodontal Procedures
There are many types of treatment that a periodontist may perform. Their work focuses on treating conditions that affect the gums and supportive structures so that you can have a healthy smile.
Popular periodontal treatments include:
- Scaling and Root Planing: A deep-cleaning procedure that removes bacteria below the gum line.
- Flap Surgery: A surgical procedure that involves lifting the gum tissue to clean the area beneath it.
- Gum or Bone Grafting: The process of regenerating bone or gum tissue that has been lost to gum disease or infection.
- Root Surface Debridement: A specialized procedure that uses ultrasonic instruments or hand tools to remove damaged tissue from the root’s surface.
- Dental Implants: The act of placing screws to replace the natural tooth structure, then topping it with a crown to restore function and prevent bone loss.
Find a Periodontist in Louisa, SC
At Carolina Dental Care, we offer complete periodontal services to help you protect your teeth and oral health from the harmful effects of gum disease. To schedule an appointment, please call our office at 843-756-2273 or complete our contact form. A member of our team will be happy to answer any questions and assist you.