Dr. Benjamin Duval is fantastic! He is a compassionate and caring person and I have always been made to feel not only important but completely at ease with him. If you are looking for a Periodontist in Savannah, I highly recommend him!
Complimentary consultation and x‑rays on all services including gum disease treatment
Why a Periodontist?
Have you been diagnosed with gum disease? Has your dentist recommend that you see a specialist for soft tissue grafts or dental implants? A periodontist is a specialist who focuses on diseases, conditions, and issues that affect the gingiva. Like a dentist, a periodontist receives a standard doctorate in dentistry but his or her education does not stop there. An aspiring periodontist will complete an additional degree and specialty training to serve as a specialist in this field. On top of additional training and education, a periodontist will need to pass board certifications from the American Board of Periodontology.
One of the most important services a periodontist provides is treatment for complex and advanced cases of gum disease. Periodontal (gum) disease is a pervasive condition that can literally destroy the entire oral health system when left untreated. This condition, in its advanced stages, can aggressively attack more than gingival tissue. In fact, periodontal disease leads to bone atrophy, chronic oral infections, and is the primary cause of tooth loss in adulthood. Gum disease can affect your overall health, too. Research has linked advanced gum disease to a number of conditions including diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Benefits of Seeing a Periodontist
Since periodontists focus on the gums, they can offer precise and complex forms of treatments that go beyond the scope of what a general dental practitioner can provide. Patients suffering with aggressive forms of gum disease will benefit from the expert level knowledge a periodontist possesses.
In addition to treating gum disease, a periodontist offers soft tissue grafting procedures, cosmetic gum shaping treatments, and the placement of dental implants.
If you have gum disease or have been referred to our office, we invite you to reserve a consultation with Dr. Duval. At your appointment, our team will assess your needs, address any concerns or questions you have, and develop a treatment plan that is right for your unique situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gingivitis and periodontitis, involves the inflammation and infection of gum tissue. The gums can become inflamed for a number of reasons including exposure to irritants such as tartar buildup caused by inadequate or improper oral hygiene or biological issues such as hormonal fluctuations. When gum disease is detected and treated early, it can be reversible. Unfortunately, aggressive forms of periodontal disease can progress quickly and ultimately wreak havoc on a person’s oral health and general wellbeing. Once gum disease surpasses a particular level of severity, it can only be managed with professional treatment; it is not curable.
Advanced gum disease is the underlying cause behind tooth loss among most adults. This condition can also erode bone mass and the infection present in the gums can enter the blood stream.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
The symptoms of periodontal disease can differ from person to person. Early stage gum disease may produce no noticeable symptoms but the most common indicator is gums that bleed during oral hygiene. Healthy gum tissue will not bleed when a patient flosses and brushes properly.
As the condition advances, a person might notice that more of his or her tooth is exposed. This is because the gingiva will pull away and recede from teeth as a response to irritation. Gum recession can leave the roots of teeth exposed to harmful oral bacteria and tartar buildup.
Other common symptoms and side effects of gum disease include swollen and tender gums, discoloration of the gum tissue, persistent bad breath, and teeth that feel loose.
What are gum disease treatment options?
There are a few different treatment protocols for managing periodontal disease. The type of treatment or combination of treatments a patient needs largely depends on his or her situation. The severity of gum disease along with a patient’s lifestyle choices such as drinking or smoking can greatly affect the efficacy of treatment.
Common treatments for gum disease include two procedures, scaling and root planing, that are performed in conjunction with one another. These treatments address the accumulation of tartar below the gum line and along the roots of teeth. Scaling and root planing also involves thorough prophylaxis (cleaning) of infected gingival tissue.
Surgery to remove necrotized and badly diseased gum tissue may be necessary. In some cases, patients may benefit from receiving soft tissue grafts to replace lost gingival tissue. Since the gums play an integral role in supporting teeth, restoring gum structure with tissue grafts can help prevent tooth loss and encourage regeneration of the gingiva. Another treatment option is the use of antibiotics and prescription mouth rinses to treat infected gums.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a milder form of periodontal disease. When gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. The most common symptoms of gingivitis are bleeding gums and mild gum recession. In most cases, gingivitis is reversible when patients commit to practicing proper and thorough oral hygiene – including daily flossing and twice-daily brushing. Sometimes, scaling and root planing may be required to remove tartar accumulation if periodontal pockets have developed.