Periodontics is the dental specialty that focuses on the prevention and treatment of inflammatory diseases that can destroy the gums and other supporting structures that surround our teeth.
Since February is Gum Disease Awareness Month, we think it’s important to discuss why periodontics is an important component of our practice here at Beyond Dental Health and how we can help our patients avoid periodontal disease.
Research shows that periodontal disease affects nearly 65 million adults over the age of 30, making it one of the most common diseases in America. Even though it’s one of the most common diseases in the U.S., it can be easily prevented simply by taking the time to brush and floss our teeth each day.
So, what is periodontal disease? Periodontal disease is the accumulation of tartar and plaque (yep, that’s the yellowish gunk) that builds up along the gum line. Tartar contains bacteria. If the tartar is not removed from the teeth it can become gingivitis, the least invasive form of periodontal disease, or periodontitis, the most serious form of periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is typically painless but can cause the gums to become inflamed and swollen and prone to periods of bleeding when a patient eats or brushes the teeth. Another sign that you may have gingivitis – is persistent bad breath. If treated early, however, gingivitis can be eliminated.
If gingivitis is allowed to flourish, a patient may experience periodontitis, which causes the gums to recede and pull away from the teeth. Patients who are at this stage of periodontal disease are likely to be experiencing other issues such as tooth pain and loose teeth and some type of gum surgery may be needed to repair the damage.
Depending on the stage of the disease, our periodontics team is likely to recommend one of these surgical treatments:
- Gingival flap surgery or pocket reduction: Our team will separate the gum tissue and perform a thorough cleaning before reattaching the tissue. The treatment will reduce the periodontal pockets.
- Gingivectomy: Excess gum tissue that is covering the teeth is removed so patients can clean the teeth better.
- Gingivoplasty: Healthy gum tissue around the teeth is reshaped to give a patient’s teeth a healthier and more attractive appearance. Crown lengthening and gum grafts are two forms of this procedure.
For more information about our periodontics team and the treatments that are available, call our Abington, MA, office at (781) 878.0001, or visit us online to schedule a consultation. We look forward to improving your overall health with high-quality dental care.