What is periodontology?
Periodontology, also known as periodontics, is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases that affect the supporting structures of the teeth, including the gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone. The term “periodontal” refers to the tissues around the teeth.
Periodontology primarily deals with the prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums caused by plaque buildup, which can lead to redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, a more severe condition characterized by the destruction of the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth.
Periodontists are dental specialists who specialize in periodontology and are trained to diagnose and manage these conditions. They provide treatments such as scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), periodontal surgery, and dental implant placement. They may also work in collaboration with general dentists and other dental specialists to ensure comprehensive oral health care.
In addition to treating periodontal diseases, periodontists may also address other conditions related to the gums and supporting structures, including gum recession, gum grafting, and the management of oral manifestations of systemic diseases, such as diabetes.
Regular visits to a periodontist, along with good oral hygiene practices at home, can help prevent and control periodontal diseases, promoting optimal oral health and preserving the function and aesthetics of the teeth.
Non-surgical treatments within the scope of Gum Diseases and Treatment
Non-surgical treatments are often the first line of defense in managing gum diseases. They aim to control and reverse the progression of the disease without the need for surgical intervention. Here are some common non-surgical treatments within the scope of gum diseases:
Scaling and Root Planing: This is a deep cleaning procedure performed by a dentist or dental hygienist. It involves removing plaque and tartar deposits from the teeth and root surfaces below the gumline. The root surfaces are then smoothed (planed) to eliminate rough areas where bacteria can accumulate. Scaling and root planing help remove the bacterial toxins and reduce inflammation in the gums.
Antibiotics: In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to help control gum infections. They can be taken orally or applied directly to the affected areas. Antibiotics help eliminate the bacteria causing the infection and promote healing.
Antimicrobial Mouth rinses: Special mouth rinses containing antimicrobial agents may be recommended to reduce the bacterial load in the mouth and control gum disease. These rinses can help manage bacterial growth and inflammation.
Professional Dental Cleanings: Regular dental cleanings every six months or as recommended by your dentist are crucial in preventing and controlling gum diseases. Dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup that cannot be effectively removed through regular brushing and flossing.
Oral Hygiene Education: Proper oral hygiene practices are essential in managing gum diseases. Your dentist or dental hygienist can provide education on correct brushing and flossing techniques, as well as recommendations for appropriate oral hygiene products.
It’s important to note that non-surgical treatments are typically effective in managing mild to moderate gum diseases. In more advanced cases or when non-surgical treatments fail to yield significant improvement, surgical interventions may be required to address the underlying issues and restore gum health.