Frequently Asked Questions: Periodontal Disease
Why I am being referred to a periodontist?
Gum disease is caused by bacteria. It is progressive, and there are times when advanced treatment is required to improve the condition of your gums and save teeth. Periodontists are specialists who are recognized by the American Dental Association. In addition to treating gum disease, periodontists are also experts in the relationship between oral health and overall health, they are highly trained in cosmetic procedures, and they are also experts in the placement and maintenance of dental implants. The doctors at the South Florida Center for Periodontics &Implant Dentistry have extensive experience, they regularly publish articles in scientific journals, and they teach other doctors. All of our periodontists are Board Certified by the American Board of Periodontology, which is the highest achievement in the field and signifies dedication to excellence and continued education of all of our doctors.Click here to learn more about the doctors.
If left untreated, can periodontal disease affect my overall health?
Yes. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, “Research has shown that periodontal disease is associated with several other diseases. For a long time it was thought that bacteria was the factor that linked periodontal disease to other diseases in the body; however, more recent research demonstrates that inflammation may be responsible for the association. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.”
What other connections are there between periodontal disease and systemic diseases?
The list is growing with new research. For example, scientists have known for some time that people with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease. New research indicates a two-way connection: periodontal disease may make it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar.
Other connections are emerging between periodontitis and many diseases including cardiovascular disease, strokes, TIA’s pancreatic cancer, certain forms of lung cancer, certain leukemias, rheumatoid arthritis and even erectile dysfunction.
It doesn’t hurt and I’ve had bad gums for years.
We are pleased that you are not experiencing any pain, but our motto is, “don’t wait until it hurts.” Left untreated, periodontal disease becomes worse over time. The proposed periodontal treatment will never be more conservative, less invasive, or more cost effective than it is today.
Will periodontal surgery solve the problems I am having with my gums?
Periodontal surgery may be recommended as a necessary component of treatment, but you will need to take good care of your teeth and gums at home and visit our office and your restorative dentist’s office on a regular basis for professional cleanings.
What other procedures do periodontists perform?
We are concerned foremost with your health. However, some of the procedures we perform are intended not only to control disease, but to provide you with a cosmetic benefit. Click here for information about these procedures.