What Does a Periodontist Do?
Have you ever heard the term "periodontist"? A periodontist is a specially trained dentist who treats gum disease in its various forms. While millions of adult Americans have some form of gum disease--from simple gingivitis to advanced periodontitis--a scant number actually know they have the condition and work to prevent and treat it.
The Williston Dental Team, comprised of a husband and wife pair, Drs. Gabriel Mannarino and Holly Halliday, teach their patients proper oral hygiene techniques and include careful gum assessment in routine dental exams and cleanings. They look for and treat signs of gum disease, limiting tooth loss and the systemic complications linked to periodontitis.
Symptoms of Periodontitis
Periodontitis is basically an infection linked to oral bacteria which thrives in accumulated plaque and tartar between teeth and beneath the gum line. The American Academy of Periodontology cites the following symptoms as common to gum disease:
- red, swollen, pus-filled gums
- gum tenderness
- bad breath
- loose or drifting teeth
- gum recession
- bleeding when brushing and flossing
- a change in how teeth bite together
Complications of Periodontitis
Besides infection, inflammation is a major player in gum disease. This inflammation contributes to major systemic conditions, including:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- coronary artery disease
- heart attack
- Alzheimer's Disease
- pregnancy complications and low birth weight infants
What Can be Done?
Prevention is the best defense against gum disease, but when your Williston dentist discovers periodontitis, he or she has many tools to stop, treat and reverse this damaging process.
The most common treatment is manual or ultrasonic scaling and debriding of tooth and root surfaces to remove plaque, tartar, and other diseased debris. Your Williston periodontist eliminates infection with antibiotics instilled at the gum line.
For advanced cases, Dr. Halliday, a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, performs individualized gum surgeries which remove bacteria-filled gum pockets surrounding teeth or which graft gum tissue over diseased sites. Flap surgery to access and debride teeth and bone may be an option as well.
Are Your Gums Healthy?
As part of your semi-annual exam and hygienic cleaning at Williston Dental, Dr. Mannarino or Halliday will check for dental decay, proper alignment and bite, oral cancer and of course, gum disease. Gentle periodontal probing measures gum pockets to diagnose problems at their earliest stages.
Contact the Williston Dental Team for your routine check-up and cleaning. The health of your teeth and gums depend on it. Call (802) 878-0600 for an appointment.