PeriodontologyWhat is periodontology?
Periodontology (periodontics) is a clinical specialty which studies supporting structures of teeth, and diseases and conditions that affect them.
What is periodontal disease?
Generally speaking, periodontal disease is chronic bacterial infection, which affects gums and alveolar bone (the bone around the tooth). It starts with slight swelling and reddening of gums; bleeding is also possible. This is the mildest form of the disease, called gingivitis. Gingivitis is often due to poor and inadequate oral hygiene and can be healed completely with professional treatment and good oral hygiene. Untreated gingivitis can escalate into periodontitis. Gums peel off the teeth and form pockets – spaces which can be easier infected. When the disease progresses, the sockets extend at the expense of the bone that melts further, teeth get loose and can be extracted.
What is the reason for this disease’s progress?
It is the plaque, built up due to poor oral hygiene. Plaque is sticky, colorless film on the teeth. It contains millions of bacteria with protective function. Plaque which is not removed from the teeth can harden and turn into calculus. Bacteria in calculus are inaccessible for the body’s immunologic response, as well as for the antibiotics and antiseptics, while they are not mechanically destroyed. That’s why gingivitis and periodontitis cannot be treated with antibiotics only.
How is gingivitis or periodontitis treated?
Treatment starts with calculus and plaque removal through ultrasonic device. Once the teeth surfaces are scaled, they are finished and polished using different methods. The aim of periodontal treatment is to remove the causes of the disease. Treatment can be also surgical if the disease’s stage requires it. Surgical treatment includes bone graft procedures in places with bone resorption too. Periodontologist determines the volume and the sort of the treatment method.
Supporting periodontal treatment will guarantee the absence of disease’s recurrence and will prolong vastly teeth’s life.
How often should you visit your dentist for scale and polish?
According to WHO’s researches people with healthy gums should visit the dentist for scale and polish every 4 months and those with gum disease – every 3 months.