Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that treats conditions and diseases of the supporting structures of the teeth, especially the gums. Periodontists commonly treat severe cases of oral inflammation including gum disease.
Periodontal treatment is concerned with keeping the gums and bone around the teeth healthy. This involves the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal, or gum disease. Periodontists perform various procedures on the gums and surrounding tissue within the mouth.
Most periodontal treatments focus on treating gum or periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an advanced stage of gum disease caused by a build-up of plaque and bacteria between the teeth and gums. When left untreated, the gums become swollen and infected and may bleed easily. As gum disease progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult and painful to treat. Periodontal disease can also lead to tooth loss.
Plaque Control Treatment
Most cases of periodontal disease develop because of bacterial plaque that builds up on the teeth over time. When it is not removed, plaque hardens and causes tartar to develop, which cannot be removed through brushing at home. The tissues and bone that support the teeth are gradually destroyed by this process.
A dentist or periodontist can perform a thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums which can assist in controlling the spread of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. This type of professional cleaning should be performed every six months to ensure healthy teeth and gums.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
A patient is normally referred to a periodontist to treat periodontal disease. Treatment may include:
Scaling and root planing - A deep-cleaning method that removes bacteria from below the gum line and the tooth root.
Medication - Antibiotics or antimicrobial medications may be used to fight infection and reduce the size of the gum pockets that have occurred because of periodontitis.
Surgery - If other methods of treatment are ineffective, flap surgery may be performed to lift away gum tissue so that it can be cleaned underneath. Gum or bone grafts may also be performed to help regenerate any bone or gum tissue that may have been damaged or lost due to periodontitis.
Patients can reduce their risk of developing gum disease by practicing proper oral hygiene. This includes thoroughly brushing the teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Eating a balanced diet and avoiding smoking can also help maintain dental health. Seeing a dentist for a professional cleaning on a regular basis is essential to maintaining good dental as they can remove plaque and other substances that have built up on the teeth over time.