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What is periodontology?

It is the area of Dentistry which prevents and treats the tissues that surround teeth (gums, bone, periodontal ligament).

What does periodontology treat?

Periodontal /Gum disease initiates in general as a gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), that if not treated / good oral hygiene, progresses to periodontitis (infection that originates loss of gingival insertion and bone loss).

The loss of gingiva and bone originates mobility and loss of affected teeth if not treated. This is the first cause for teeth loss! The prevalence of this disease is high, for which it is important the regular visit to your dentist for prevention or control of established disease.

There is a proven correlation between periodontal disease and and other systemic diseases (ex: diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, premature labour, lung diseases amongst others).

Main causes of periodontal disease

Periodontal disease as multifactorial causes, being the main cause the presence of harmful bacteria to the periodontal tissues. These bacterias form bacterial plaque which calcifies under the form of tartar responsible for periodontal disease.

There are other causes which contribute to the appearance of periodontal disease: genetics, systemic diseases, medication, oncological treatment, smoking habits, oral hygiene habits, feeding habits and lack of regular control visits at your dentist.

What is bacterial plaque?

Its the accumulation of a film composed by food particles, salivary composts and bacteria surrounding your teeth which calcify under the form of tartar causing periodontal disease.

What are the main symptoms?

  • Red and swollen gums (edema and erythema) ,
  • Hemorrhaging gums to brushing or the use of dental floss,
  • Recessed Gums,
  • Halitosis (Bad Breath),
  • Suppuration (pus) of the gums,
  • Dental mobility,
  • Pain to mastication due to lack of teeth support,
  • Sensitivity due to gingival recession.

How to treat?

Normally the treatment begins with a correct diagnosis of each infected local (called gingival pockets). These pockets are niches, where bacteria accumulate in the gum and cause bone resorption and of the tissues that surround the teeth.

It is important to know the depth of each one of them to obtain an initial diagnosis, establish a treatment plan as well as, a prognosis. For that we probe the pockets and register an initial periodontogram.

After this registration, deep scale and polish of the teeth roots on each 4 parts of the mouth ( divided by quadrants) or 6 parts (if divided by sextants) under local anesthesia. A final periodontogram is made in order to evaluate the success of the treatment done.

For success to be achieved, it is necessary that the patient collaborates in improving oral hygiene and respects all recommendations given to him along the treatment.

Do gingival recessions have treatment?

If the phenotype is thin, the gingiva tends to be receded as a response to bacterial aggression. A first step is the treatment above described, followed by an evaluation of the need and success prognosis of mucogingival plastic surgery.

Nowadays there are many techniques to revert or decrease these recessions.


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