What is it?
Is a specialty inside odontology which is in charge of gum disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Gum is on charge of teeth and bone protection from external aggressions (bacteria, tobacco and other elements). When gum is affected by periodontal disease (pyorrhea), a degradation process begins, followed by bone destruction and teeth loss.
It’s gum swelling a bleeding caused by bacteria and plaque. However, it’s reversible. Cleaning all the bacteria leads to reduce inflammation. So the recommended treatment in this case, is a teeth cleaning at the clinic. If gingivitis is not treated, it’ll end causing periodontal disease or also known as periodontitis.
What’s periodontal disease or periodontitis?
It’s an infectious bacterial disease. Gum is swollen and periodontal bags are formed, making bacteria get to tissue and bone destroying it and losing teeth’s support tissue.
What are the symptoms?
First periodontitis symptoms are gum bleeding, reddening and swelling. In a more advanced stage, we can also observe:
- Dental mobility
- Gum shrinkage
- Interdental space
- Cold or heat sensitivity
People who genetically have thicker gums and smoke heavily, could hide the disease, and the only way to know about it is by x-ray. For this reason, prevention is important.
What does disease’s progress depend on?
It depends on patient genetic disposition and it’ll be aggravated by the next factors: tobacco, dental crowding (that’s why orthodontics is important), stress, bruxism, diabetes or oral contraceptives.
How is the disease treated?
Firstly, a comprehensive study is done, which includes the following: periodontal bags’ catheterization, x-ray, microbiological cultivation and genetics test. This way, we’ll identify the type of periodontal disease, so we know how to treat it. During the early stage, scaling and curettage of teeth roots is performed to get rid of plaque and bacteria that are placed under the gum. During advanced stages, we would perform microsurgery to eliminate periodontal bags. Usually it can all be done in just one session. Finally, patient follows periodic maintenance.
What’s treatment like?
After performing gum treatment, a maintenance plan is set for the patient. In periodontal diseases this maintenance acquires such relevance because this disease tends to reproduce. During the first year, maintenance is done every three or four months. Subsequently, and depending on the patient and his or her hygiene, smoking, habits. A maintenance plan is proposed to ensure long term treatment’s success.