Skip ToContent

Get In Touch With Us
(303) 797-1211

FREE Info Packet

Main Content

Periodontal Disease

If you’re in search of a dental cleaning and a routine oral exam, you’ll probably call your general dentist to schedule an appointment. However, if you have been diagnosed with gum disease or need and extraction or dental implant, it is time to be evaluated by a periodontist.

Difference Between General Dentistry & Periodontics

A periodontist has extended education and experience in the field of periodontics and dental implants. Periodontics is the study of the structures that surround and support the teeth. This includes the gums, bone, and other soft tissues of the mouth. It is important to be seen by a periodontist immediately if your general dentist has told you that you have gum disease. Too frequently, patients will make their way into a periodontist office when it is too late and the teeth cannot be saved. There are a number of treatment options, both surgical and non-surgical, that periodontists can utilize to save your teeth where general dentists cannot. While one of the main problems seen by periodontists is gum disease (called periodontitis), it’s certainly not the only thing that they do. Dr. Jenkins can also diagnose and treat other diseases as well as provide a number of different surgical services to reconstruct the hard and soft tissues of the mouth. This includes the replacement of missing teeth with dental implants.

When to See a General Dentist

You should see a general dentist if you are in need of:

  • Standard oral X-rays
  • A dental checkup
  • A dental cleaning
  • Dental cavity treatment (fillings)
  • Simple Root canals
  • Crowns and Bridges

When to See a Periodontist

Periodontal treatment may be sought in several ways. Your general dentist or a hygienist may recommend a consultation with a periodontist if they find signs of periodontal disease through the course of a checkup or other dental care appointment. You may also decide to see a periodontist on your own as a referral is not necessary to be seen at our office.

In fact, if you experience any of these symptoms, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at our office without delay:

  • Bleeding while brushing or eating normal foods - Unexplained bleeding while performing regular cleaning or consuming food is the most common sign of a periodontal infection.
  • Bad breath - Ongoing halitosis (bad breath), which continues despite rigorous oral cleaning, can point to periodontitis, gingivitis or the beginnings of a gum infection.
  • Loose teeth and gum recession - Longer-looking and loose-feeling teeth can indicate recession of the gums and/or bone loss as a result of periodontal disease.
  • Related health concerns - Patients with heart disease, diabetes, osteopenia or osteoporosis are often diagnosed with correlating periodontal infections. The bacterial infection can spread through the blood stream, affecting other areas of the body.

The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer. The following are common signs of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:

  • Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth.
  • A sore that fails to heal, and bleeds easily.
  • A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth.
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness.
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing.

These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology and, curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer. We recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly.

Remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us so we may help.

You should visit Littleton Implants & Periodontics if you are in need of:

Bone grafting

  • Dental implant placement or implant replacement
  • Extractions with bone grafting
  • Scaling and rRoot planing (deep cleaning)
  • Periodontal surgery
  • Dental implants or implant replacement Bone grafting
  • Gum grafting
  • Sinus augmentation
  • Deep pocket cleanings
  • Hard tissue recontouring
  • Crown lengthening (Aesthetic or functional)
  • Gum or oral surgery Frenectomy or fiberotomy

In addition to tooth loss, aAllowing gum disease to go untreated can cause a number of serious health problems. These can include:

  • Worsening of diabetes symptoms
  • Heart disease & stroke
  • Low birth weight of babies who have mothers with gum disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Oral cancer

In the end, the biggest difference between a general dentist and a periodontist is would be that a periodontist specializesthe focus of their studies in the diagnosis of gum disease, the surgical procedures to treat gum disease, the reconstruction of the supporting hard and soft tissue, and the placement of dental implants. Additionally, a periodontist has undergone as well as many years of additional trainingthe extra schooling and experience beyond dental school in a 3 year advanced specialty program recognized by the American Dental Association. Furthermore, Dr. Jenkins is a board certified periodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. If you need to visit our office, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. Ourdental implant & periodontics office is located in beautiful Littleton, ColoradoO.

Our Blog

benefits of dental implants.jpeg
The Different Types and Benefits of Dental Implants Explained
Mar 20, 2020
There are several different types and benefits of dental implants that you should know about. You can check out our guide…
Flossing mouth
Specialist Advice: What Your Gum Color Says About Your Health
Jan 20, 2020
Do you brush your teeth regularly, but still deal with oral discomfort? Don't overlook the importance of your gum's health.…
Dental impant patient with thumbs up
Considering LANAP Treatment in Denver? Your Guide to this Amazing Procedure
Oct 28, 2019
Do you have gum disease and want to know more about LANAP treatment in Denver? Learn more about what this surgery is, how it…
Woman with tooth pain
Ouch My Bleeding Gums! 7 Things That Could Be Causing It And How To Treat It
Sep 17, 2019
Are you suffering from bleeding and inflamed gums? Here is a quick guide what may be causing it and how you can treat it.