Periodontics is the dentistry specialty that deals with conditions and diseases affecting the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth. Periodontal diseases are of an inflammatory nature and are produced by the accumulation of tartar and bacterial plaque in the neck of the teeth, the line of the gums (gingivitis) and under the gum line (periodontitis).
Lack of oral hygiene, smoking and a poor brushing technique, among other factors, promote the proliferation of bacteria that can make gums swollen, irritated and lead to degeneration. There are different stages in the progression of periodontal disease and if it is not treated in time, it evolves to damaging bone structure and tissues holding the teeth until they end up falling out.
Gingivitis and periodontitis
- Periodontal disease usually begins with gingivitis, inflammation and bleeding of the gums without the bone involvement.
- If a professional in periodontics is not visited for treatment, it is easy for the gingivitis to progress and result in an advanced periodontitis, which produces the destruction of bone and the irreparable loss of teeth.
- After the diagnosis and assessment of periodontal disease, the dentist proceeds to deep gum cleaning and the part of the tooth that is located below.
- In the initial stages of the disease the periodontist removes tartar and bacterial plaque from periodontal pockets using a procedure known as root scaling and planning.
- Ultrasonic devices, tooth scalers and polishers are used for the elimination of the bacteria that cause gingivitis or periodontitis.
- In advanced stages of periodontitis, where the patient experiences a significant loss of bone support, it is possible to recover the gum and the lost bone using regenerative techniques.
- It is very important that the patient periodically attend periodontal controls to verify that the disease does not advance.
Benefits of periodontics
- Although it depends on the stage, diagnosis and periodontal treatment may halt the advance and curb the loss of tissue and supporting structures of the teeth.
- With a periodontal treatment in good time and a correct guideline of after-care, the patient will prevent the replacement of teeth caused by partial or total loss, thus preserving their natural teeth.
- The treatment of gums is simple, effective and, in general terms, well accepted by patients.
- A good oral hygiene technique for plaque control and some kind of antibiotic is normally prescribed if the specialist considers it appropriate.