Periodontology and periodontal disease

A periodontal treatment consists of thoroughly cleaning the space between the gum and the tooth, which deepens as bacteria accumulate under the gum to form subgingival calculus or tartar and prevent damage to the periodontal ligament and surrounding alveolar bone.

The basic treatment is curettage or scaling and root planing, which consists of removing the subgingival calculus and conditioning the root of the tooth to prevent further adherence of bacteria to the root surface. When the disease is more advanced and is not controlled with basic treatment, it may be necessary to perform surgical treatment of the area. This consists of cleaning under the gum having to separate it in order to reach the deepest areas. Sometimes regenerative surgery may be performed to regenerate the supporting bone, but it will depend on the area to be treated.

Causes of periodontal diseases

There are several causes:

  • Gingival plaque: a deficit in oral hygiene allows tartar to form. This is the factor most related to the development of the disease.
  • Genetics.
  • Tobacco or drugs.
  • Systemic diseases: those that affect the decrease of immunity, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease among them.
  • Hormonal changes.
  • Stress.
  • Obesity.
  • Diet: inadequate nutrition.
  • Medications.

What symptoms indicate the existence of periodontal disease?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums without bone loss or attachment loss. In periodontitis (commonly called pyorrhea) the attachment tissues are affected and the supporting bone is destroyed, forming periodontal pockets. In both cases, symptoms may be mild or absent. The most common is gingival bleeding, but sometimes it may be little or none if the patient smokes, since tobacco makes the gums do not bleed and therefore can mask the problem.

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There may be swelling, inflammation, redness and sensitivity. When we speak of periodontitis and this is more advanced, the gums are reduced in size and the roots of the teeth are exposed. As the disease progresses, the teeth appear longer and separate. There may be pus between the teeth and gums if the disease is active and halitosis (bad breath).

Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease

Inflammation of the gums and tartar accumulation can weaken the tissues that support the teeth causing them to become mobile and eventually fall out. There may be aesthetic consequences since the teeth look longer, there are spaces between them or they are separating.

The germs, which are mainly bacteria, can pass into the bloodstream and settle in any other place having consequences at the cardiovascular level, in the control of blood glucose and even in pregnancy.

Prevention is important and consists of proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist. For more information, consult a dentist.