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Periodontics is the study of the gums and inflammatory diseases that affect the functionality of the gums and surrounding tissue. It is such a specific area of study that many often have questions surrounding the profession, especially when they themselves are diagnosed with a periodontal disease like gingivitis. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding gum disease and inflammation.

Is there a link between periodontal disease and heart disease?

Researchers suspect that there is a link between periodontal disease and heart disease, with the common factor being inflammation. Mention this to your periodontist and he or she can give you more information.

What are some symptoms linked to periodontal disease?

Loose or separating teeth, a change in the way your teeth fit when you bite, a change in the fit of partial dentures, or pus between your gums and teeth. These symptoms could have progressed and should be mentioned to your dentist or periodontist right away.

I was recently diagnosed with periodontal disease. How often should I see my periodontist for an exam?

Regular examinations are extremely important – especially when a patient was recently diagnosed and is learning how to properly care for their disease. It is recommended that periodontal disease patients see their periodontal doctor every six months–eventually more frequently if the disease is further advanced.

My periodontist said he’s “board certified.” What does that mean?

The Board of Periodontists consists of those periodontists who completed two extra years of school to specialize in periodontics as a dental speciality. They are extremely qualified to assist you in the treatment of your periodontal disease.

What can I do at home to prevent periodontal disease?

The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to take good care of your teeth by brushing twice per day and flossing once per day. Be sure to see your dentist or periodontist regularly – at least semi-annually. Taking preventative action will save you money rather than waiting until the problem gets too extensive that expensive treatment is involved

Who should treat my periodontal disease?

Instead of leaving your treatment to one dental professional, you should get your general dentist and a professional periodontist to be involved in the treatment of your periodontal disease. They can both offer their expertise in their given fields to offer you the best treatment plan possible.

Is periodontal disease contagious?

It may technically not be contagious, however, the bacteria that cause the inflammation can be spread through saliva, so it is probably a good idea to not share drinking cups or utensils until the individual’s gum disease is completely cured.