Periodontics is a dental specialty that includes the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Dentists specialized in this branch are called periodontist specialists.
Periodontal diseases are bacterial infections of the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament (fibers that support the teeth and keep them fixed in the jaw and maxilla). They destroy the gums and supporting bone that keep teeth in the mouth. As a result, teeth can loosen and fall out or must be extracted and replaced with dental bridges or implants.
Periodontal surgery may be necessary to cover exposed tooth root surfaces, correct clefts in the gums and jaw bone, or reshape and repair gum tissue.. The dental implants they are placed to provide an artificial tooth root to support the dental restorations that your dentist will later create.
CAUSES OF PERIODONTAL DISEASES
The main cause of periodontal diseases is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless coating that forms on teeth. If not removed by brushing and flossing, plaque bacteria infect the gums, releasing toxins that redden and inflame the tissue, gradually destroying the tissues that support the teeth and underlying bone. When this happens, the gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets that fill with more plaque and cause additional infection.
Other factors that can affect gum health include:
- Bad habits. Your periodontal health can be affected by poor personal oral hygiene, oral piercings, smoking, and drug and / or alcohol abuse. A stressful lifestyle and poor nutritional habits, which can lower your body's ability to fight infection, can also make you more susceptible to periodontal disease.
- Systemic factors. People with diseases such as diabetes and leukemia, taking certain medications, or suffering from systemic conditions such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, malnutrition, or immunosuppression, may be especially vulnerable to gum disease. due to its lower levels of resistance.
- Hormonal factors. For women, hormonal fluctuations during key life stages - puberty, pregnancy, and menopause - can trigger changes in tissues throughout the body, including the mouth. At such times, a woman's chances of developing periodontal disease can increase.
- Genetic influences. Genes and family history can indicate a predisposition to develop periodontal diseases and are one of the main causes of periodontitis.
- Tobacco use. Tobacco users show a higher incidence of stone formation in the teeth, deeper pockets in the gums, and loss of bone and fibers that support the teeth. The chemicals in tobacco (tar and nicotine) are highly damaging to the tissues of the mouth and seriously affect the prognosis of periodontal disease. It should be remembered that smokeless tobacco users are also at increased risk of developing oral cancer.
- Medicines. You should inform your dentist of any medications you are taking, as some medications (for example, oral contraceptives, antidepressants, and some heart medications) can adversely affect the gums or lead to periodontal disease despite not being have a periodontal history and have had a good control of oral health.
- Bad dental condition: Decayed teeth, broken or poorly fitting dentures, crowded or crooked teeth, and poorly filled teeth can retain bacterial plaque, making it difficult to remove with routine oral hygiene methods.
WHEN TO GO TO A PERIODONTAL CLINIC: SYMPTOMS OF GUM DISEASE
You may have gum disease and not even know it. Often there is no pain and periodontal diseases may not show symptoms until severe bone loss has occurred. However, it is important that you see your dentist or periodontist at the first sign of these common symptoms of periodontal disease:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing
- Gums that separate from the teeth
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between the gums and teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Change in bite (occlusion) and / or fit of removable dentures
CONTINUOUS PERIODONTAL MAINTENANCE AND CONTROL
Periodontitis is a chronic disease. Without a periodontal treatment meticulous and continuous, periodontal diseases can get out of control and cause serious irreversible damage. After evaluating your periodontal health, your periodontist They will advise you to customize the best treatment plan to manage your periodontal disease.
Treatment may vary depending on the degree of progression of the periodontal disease. If it is diagnosed and treated in its early stages in your periodontal clinic, a simple non-surgical periodontal therapy, known as curettage. If the periodontitis has progressed to the point of deep periodontal pockets and significant bone loss, surgical treatment may be necessary.
Even when periodontitis is controlled, you will need to continue to perform regular curettage to maintain your oral health. This continuous treatment allows to preserve the health of the gums and thus minimize the effects of periodontitis. It should be remembered that there is no cure for this condition of the gums, so it is important to stay healthy by going to the dental office regularly and practicing good personal oral hygiene.
If you think you have some of the common symptoms of periodontal disease or simply want to rule out periodontal disease, please consult with our specialist periodontics clinic and we will perform a dental examination and dental diagnosis..