Why You Need to See a Periodontist in Singapore for Your Teeth and Gum Needs
No, you read it right. The title specifically states periodontist instead of the dentist. That word is probably alien to your ears as general dentists and orthodontists are much more popular in the world of dentistry, but the work of periodontists is equally as important as what general dentists and orthodontists do. In fact, periodontists are critical when it comes to diseases that already involve the parts of your mouth that hold your teeth together: gums and bones.
A periodontist in Singapore is quite rare, as per Dr Marlene Teo. Being a specialist in the field of periodontics, Dr Teo has put together this article to impart more information about the profession she is in and how services provided by periodontists can bring advantages to people suffering from gum disease.
General Dentist vs. Orthodontist vs. Periodontist: A comparison
We are not pitting one dental profession against another here. This comparison is to clarify confusion between the different medical care providers in the dental world. More often, people think of general dentists when it comes to problems concerning their teeth and gums. General dentists can perform different procedures involving routine dental care and overall oral health, but with limitations. If a dentist is not qualified to do a certain procedure to treat teeth or gum condition, the patient gets referred to an expert in that field. Two of those are orthodontists and periodontists.
An orthodontist specializes in fixing misaligned teeth and jaws, while a periodontist is an authority for diseases plaguing the teeth and gums.
Are you experiencing gum disease? See a periodontist.
The word periodontics is derived from the Ancient Greeks. It is a combination of two words: peri meaning around and odous meaning tooth. Hence, when put together, periodontics is concerned with conditions affecting the parts of the mouth which surrounds the tooth. This includes the teeth and the tissues that support them, such as the gingival (gums), alveolar bone (a thick ridge of bone that contains the tooth sockets responsible for holding the tooth), cementum (outer layer of the tooth root), and the periodontal ligament (the connective tissue that connects the cementum to the alveolar bone).
A person who suffers from conditions or diseases that affect these parts of the mouth should make it a priority to schedule an appointment with a periodontist. Why? This is not to scare you, but failing to do so can result in loss of teeth.
What happens when you have gum disease?
Gum disease develops in the following ways:
- Formation of bacterial plaque on the teeth caused by food particles and bacteria that have not been removed by brushing and cleansing
- Development of tartar (a hard and rough substance that forms a protective layer over the bacterial plaque) from plaque build-up
- Infection of the due to bacterial plaque, causing swelling, redness, and irritation
- Progression of infection to gum disease or gingivitis
When the presence of gum disease is not treated immediately, gingivitis can progress into a more serious phase called periodontitis. Having periodontitis makes your gums, bones, and teeth weak. This can lead to loosening of the teeth or losing them completely.
How do you know if you need to see a periodontist?
Let us bust certain myths here.
First, gums that bleed are not normal. A lot of people think that bleeding gums is a normal phenomenon. It is not. It should sound the alarm that your gums are at risk of developing or may already have an infection.
Second, our teeth can live up until our last breath. Yes, you can definitely say “‘til death do us part” to your pearly whites. Losing teeth should not be blamed on old age. Ageing may take part in their wear and tear, but ultimately the reason why we lose our teeth points to how well we take good care of our teeth and gums.
Here are the things that should concern you and make you think of booking that appointment with a periodontist:
- Bad breath that never seems to go away
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Pain and discomfort felt in the teeth and gums
- Pus or abscess present or ooze out from your gums
- Red and swollen gums
- Teeth that feel loose or shaky
- Teeth that begin to have gaps or spaces in between
Losing teeth can severely affect not only our body’s health but our confidence and our quality of life as a whole. That is why it is very important that we do not overlook taking good care of our teeth and gums. A visit to a periodontist can help monitor the health of your gums and ensure that you can enjoy your teeth’s function even up to your old age. Remember, only newborn babies have the license to sport an all-gum smile as nature put it. And besides, they can easily get away with it as they look cute. But adults? I dare say no.
Dr Marlene Teo
360 Orchard Rd, #03-06/07 next to Lido, International Building,
+65 8588 9868