Periodontics is the dental specialty specializing in periodontal or gum diseases.
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth in the jaws. It can occur as gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums, or periodontitis (pyorrhea), which is loss of bone supporting the teeth which can later cause tooth mobility and loss.
Periodontal diseases not only cause local mouth symptoms but can also cause systemic symptoms, as the latest studies have shown. These include poor glycemic control in diabetic patients, premature births and low birth weights, higher frequency of ischemic heart disease and pulmonary diseases.
Early diagnosis and correct treatment of periodontal disease guarantee periodontal health and prevent the onset of related systemic diseases.
What happens in your mouth might not stay in your mouth.
- What causes periodontal diseases?
They are caused by bacterial plaque, individual susceptibility and risk factors such as smoking, stress, diabetes, hormonal changes, etc.
- How does smoking affect your gums?
Smoking can impair the gums' defense system, making smoker patients susceptible to periodontal disease. Smoking diminishes the response to treatment. Quitting smoking has immediate positive effects on your gums.
- What happens to your gums during pregnancy?
Pregnancy causes an exaggerated gingival response to bacterial plaque. Symptoms include inflamed gums, bleeding gums and sometimes epulis gravidarum. It occurs in 50% of women with poor gum health between months 3 and 8º of pregnancy. It must be prevented and treated in time.
Periodontal disease is diagnosed by:
- Full mouth and periodontal examination:
The periodontist carries out a full mouth examination to assess the presence of deep periodontal pockets, tooth mobility, receding gums, furcation defects, gingival bleeding and abscesses, using this information to prepare a periodontal chart.
Signs and symptoms that a patient may have include:
a) Signs and symptoms of gingivitis:
1. Red and swollen gums
2. Spontaneous bleeding gums when brushing your teeth
3. Presence of dental plaque and tartar
4. Bad breath
b) Signs and symptoms of periodontitis (in addition to those for gingivitis):
1. Sensitivity to cold
2. Receding gums (teeth look longer)
3. Tooth mobility and displacement
4. Pain if there are abscesses
5. Missing teeth
- Dental X-ray in the form of a panoramic radiograph or orthopantomogram to assess bone loss
- Microbiological analysis, in more aggressive cases, to analyze the pathogenic flora of the gums and provide the most suitable antibiotic treatment
Treatment for periodontal disease includes:
- Oral hygiene instructions from the dental hygienist
- Instructions regarding implant hygiene and during orthodontic treatment
- Scaling and root planing
- Periodontal surgery in more severe and aggressive cases
- Mucogingival surgery. When a patient has severe gum recession around a tooth and the tooth is no longer protected, a gum graft can be performed from the patient's own palate
- Periodontal check-up every 3-6 months to maintain the periodontal health achieved with treatment
- Multi-disciplinary treatment: once the patient's periodontal situation is under control, an assessment must be done to see what other dental treatments are needed to ensure not only dental health but also aesthetics and function. Periodontal patients have usually lost some teeth and tend to require restoration treatment with implants, prostheses and orthodontics. The professionals from the different dental specialties must work closely and harmoniously together to ensure correct and complete rehabilitation of the patient. Here at Barnaclinic we can meet these requirements for the patient.