Periodontology - questions and answers
Periodontology is the branch of dentistry dealing with research and treatment of supporting structure of the teeth.
Periodontitis is a chronic infection of the gums and supporting structure of the teeth. This is a very serious disease and the main cause for teeth loss among adults.
Periodontitis is caused by bacteria that develop in the oral cavity due to poor oral hygiene or nutrition, and is often hereditary. Tartar and plaque accumulate on teeth over time. These scalings are a nutrient medium for bacteria that cause inflammation of gum and supporting structure of the teeth.
The initial stage of periodontitis is gingivitis. Swollen and red gums are the first indicator that something is wrong. Gums start to recess and open the space between the gums and the teeth. Gingival pockets or pus clusters form in that space. Such gums can be painful and can bleed during brushing.
Advanced periodontitis will affect not only the gums but also the rest of the supporting structure of the teeth i.e. jawbone and dental tissues responsible for teeth stability. The tooth will be wobbly at this stage and will fall out as the disease advances.
Periodontitis is hard to be perceived. It has a number of symptoms, but these are mostly very mild and it is hard to determine that one suffers from periodontitis. Main symptoms are: painful and swollen gums, of deep red color, gum bleeding, teeth wobbliness, bad breath and bad taste in the mouth.
Regular daily oral hygiene implies brushing the teeth at least 2 times a day, flossing, mouthwash and removal of tartar and plaque twice a year.
Unfortunately, even with the impeccable oral hygiene, one cannot avoid the appearance of periodontitis. High risk groups are especially exposed regardless of the oral hygiene quality, and it can be hereditary.
High risk groups primarily include diabetics, which have a 7 times higher risk of getting the periodontitis than a healthy person. Beside them, particularly exposed are smokers, people with higher cholesterol and triglycerides. Persons who are in the risk groups should visit their dentist for regular checkups.
Periodontitis can be hereditary. If your family members had periodontitis, you should come for regular checkups to perceive appearance of periodontitis in time. Periodontitis treatment gives its best results when the disease is in its initial stage.
Supporting structure of the teeth consists of gums, bone and tissue connecting the tooth to the jaw. Without supporting structure of the teeth, teeth would be falling out. Loss of function of the supporting structure of the teeth would have disastrous, ruinous effect on all teeth.
Gingival pocket is a collection of pus that appears between the tooth and gums during recession of the gums due to inflammation (gingivitis).
Periodontitis is a curable disease, but it depends in which stage the treatment began. If the disease is in its initial stage, chances of a successful therapy are very good, and if it is an advanced stage, the chances of a successful therapy are far less.
Periodontitis treatment can be long-term and it depends on the stage of the illness and general health of the patient. Patients from high risk groups, individuals of poor general health and with a weak immune system can expect a far longer duration of the treatment.
Bleeding gums during brushing can be a serious indicator of periodontitis. If gums are bleeding, one should visit the dentist as soon as possible in order to start with the therapy on time.