Periodontics is a mouthful for patients.
If you don’t know, periodontics is the area of dental care that specializes in the prevention and treatment of the diseases that destroy the gums and other supporting structures that surround the teeth.
But if you do need to see a member of our periodontics team, we want every patient to know why periodontics is important for our practice and a critical component of the overall oral hygiene strategy that we offer to our patients.
According to studies, almost 65 million adults over the age of 30 in the U,S. have some form of periodontal disease, making it one of the most common diseases in the country. But periodontal disease can be easily prevented if people put more effort into brushing and flossing their teeth every day.
Periodontal disease is easy to detect. Take a look in the mirror. Do you see a yellowish coating that is covering your teeth? If you do, that’s a collection of tartar and plaque that finds a home in the gumline of the teeth. Bacteria makes up the majority of tartar and plaque and when it covers the teeth for long periods of time the result is usually some type of periodontal disease.
If the tartar and plaque is not removed, it can turn into gingivitis, the least invasive form of periodontal disease. If you have gingivitis and don’t address the problem, gingivitis can quickly become periodontitis, the most serious form of periodontal disease.
Gingivitis will cause a patient’s gums to become inflamed and swollen. It is usually painless, but gingivitis can cause the gums to bleed when a patient eats or brushes their teeth. And bad breath is another sign you might have gingivitis, especially if you don’t consistently brush your teeth after you wake up in the morning or after you finish a meal.
Periodontitis is another form of periodontal disease and is much more serious that gingivitis. It can cause gum recession, which occurs when the gums start to slowly pull away from the teeth. If patients have periodontitis, they likely have other conditions as well, including tooth pain and loose teeth. If periodontitis is left untreated, some form of oral surgery may be required to remove the tartar and plaque and repair any damage to the gums.
If a patient does need surgery, our periodontics team will likely recommend one of these periodontal treatments:
One of the more common surgical treatments is gingival flap or pocket reduction surgery. During this procedure, our team will separate the gum tissue and perform a thorough cleaning before reattaching the tissue. The treatment will eliminate or reduce the number of periodontal pockets.
A gingivectomy is another common surgical procedure. During this procedure, the excess gum tissue that is covering a patient’s teeth is removed so the teeth can be treated and cleaned more effectively.
The third treatment is a gingivoplasty. During this treatment, the healthy gum tissue is reshaped to give the teeth a healthier appearance. Two other components of this procedure could be gum grafts and crown lengthening.
Periodontal disease is a serious health concern. Diagnosing and treating it quickly will lead to better dental health and better overall health. For more information about our periodontics team, call our Hanson, MA, office at (781) 293.2128 or visit us online to request a consultation.
We look forward to improving your overall health with high-quality dental care.