Periodontics

Periodontics is the branch of dentistry which treats the tissues surrounding the teeth: gums, alveolar bone and the periodontal ligament.

These tissues can be affected mainly by two deseases:

Gingivitis: Characterized by the inflammation and bleeding of gums, it is treated with a professional teeth cleaning.

Periodontitis: In addition to the inflammation and bleeding of gums there is a loss of the bone surrounding the teeth, the alveolar bone, which will produce mobility and is the main cause of teeth loss in adults.

These diseases are caused by bacteria and tartar located at the gum, other important factors that can lead to them are smoking, poor oral hygiene and some diseases such as diabetes.

One of the problems of these diseases is that they aren’t painful until they are in an advanced stage, so visits and periodic checks are important to diagnose them in an early stage, especially in patients whose relatives have lost teeth at a young age due to these diseases, since genetics play an important role in them.

Symptoms of these diseases are gum bleeding during teeth brushing or chewing, halitosis, sensitivity to cold, teeth mobility, or, in advanced stages, suppuration of gums or abscesses.

periodoncia 1 (gingivitis)

The treatment of periodontal diseases consists in the elimination of the bacteria that cause them and an improvement on the oral hygiene of the patient. It consists of 3 phases:

  • First, diagnosis, in which the stage of the disease is determinate by measuring and radiographies. Also the patient is taught how to have a proper oral hygiene.
  • Second, scaling of all teeth to remove tartar and plaque, in some cases surgery may be needed.
  • Finally, as periodontitis is a chronic disease, visits have to be done periodically to determine the state of the patient gums and eliminate the tartar formed. With only one visit the problem is not solved, only symptoms are relieved for a short time.

FAQ:

How is periodontal disease treated?

  • First, diagnosis, in which the stage of the disease is determinate by measuring and radiographies. Also the patient is taught how to have a proper oral hygiene.
  • Second, scaling of all teeth to remove tartar and plaque, in some cases surgery may be needed.
  • Finally, as periodontitis is a chronic disease, visits have to be done periodically to determine the state of the patient gums and eliminate the tartar formed. With only one visit the problem is not solved, only symptoms are relieved for a short time.

Is periodontal disease hereditary?

Yes. The decisive factor for the loss of bone surrounding teeth is conditioned by genetics, so people who have close relatives (parents, siblings) who have lost teeth at a young age, have teeth mobility or are under periodontal treatment should check if they have periodontal disease, as it has a better evolution when diagnosed early.

Is periodontal disease a common medical condition?

It is one of the most common diseases in the human race as gingivitis affects almost everybody at some point in their lives and periodontitis can affect 1 of every 2 people who are over 35 years old.

How do I know if my gums are affected by some disease?

Symptoms of these diseases are gum bleeding during teeth brushing or chewing, halitosis, sensitivity to cold, teeth mobility, or, in advanced stages, suppuration of gums or abscesses.

Is it enough to brush my teeth to prevent periodontal disease?

No, as toothbrushes aren’t able to clean properly the space between teeth so interdental toothbrushes or floss should be used at least once a day to have a proper oral hygiene in order to prevent periodontitis.

Is it possible to cure periodontal disease?

As it is a disease produced by bacteria that are in the oral environment it can always reappear. That’s why it is important to have a proper oral hygiene and do maintenance visits in order to prevent it.

What can be done if teeth are lost due to periodontal disease?

Is it possible to put dental implants to a patient with periodontal disease?

Yes, as long as it is controlled with a proper oral hygiene and maintenance visits.

  • Periodoncia - Dr. David Àlvarez Guasch
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