What is Periodontics?
Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that treats diseases of the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. Gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis are among the most common causes of tooth loss, and their control is fundamental.
Why is it performed?
The most common diseases treated by periodontics are gingivitis and periodontitis. The first is the one that affects the gums, the soft tissues that protect the teeth. The second, more complex, is the one that causes infections in the bone that holds the teeth and other tissues such as the periodontal ligament and root cementum.
The most frequent causes of these diseases are related to the bacteria that remain on the teeth and gums, which over time can produce lesions in the tissues. These pathologies cause reddening and bleeding of the gums, spontaneously or during brushing. Other causes are tobacco, genetic inheritance, pregnancy and some diseases such as diabetes.
Periodontal disease affects up to 90% of the population over 35 years of age.
The factors that favor the evolution of gingivitis to periodontitis are:
- Bacteria with greater pathogenic capacity
- Genetic factors
- Alcohol consumption
- Systemic diseases (diabetes, osteoporosis, etc.)
- Medications that cause gingival overgrowth
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Poorly positioned teeth
- Poorly fitted fillings
Can periodontal disease be prevented?
The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to maintain proper oral hygiene, thus controlling the amount of dental plaque present. It is necessary to have regular check-ups with the dental specialist in order to make an early diagnosis of the disease in case it appears.
What does the treatment consist of?
The treatment of gingivitis is carried out by means of professional prophylaxis (oral cleaning), and scaling and root planing in the case of periodontitis. Occasionally, periodontal surgery is necessary to clean the bacteria, plaque and tartar present in the roots of the teeth.
The patient who is found to have gingivitis or the beginning of gingivitis, may be prescribed the preventive treatment of performing a prophylaxis annually or every 6 months to thoroughly remove plaque and bacteria that can develop periodontal disease.