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What Does Periodontics Mean?

Posted on July 16th, 2015 by Dr. Nikoo Daftary

Periodontics is a dental specialty that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. A periodontist will normally spend an additional three years of training beyond dental school.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is directly caused by plaque. As people eat and drink; bacteria, which are a natural part of saliva, mixes with the sugars in the food and drinks. Starting with the first meal of the day and ending with the last, a film builds up on the surface of the teeth; this film is extremely thin and colorless. This is plaque, and if it is not removed in a timely and effective manner it can continue to build up and develop into calculus.
It does not take long for plaque to become calculus; the whole process can actually happen within a day. This is why brushing and flossing after meals and getting regular cleanings and check-ups from your dentist is especially important. Once plaque becomes calculus, additional bacteria forms between the teeth and the gums, causing inflammation in the gums, a condition known as gingivitis. If you experience bleeding or sore gums, you may have gingivitis. The bacteria that cause gingivitis also compromise the jawbone and tooth roots; if not corrected in a timely manner this can lead to the loss of one or more teeth.
A large part of periodontics is prevention. A practicing periodontist can show patients how to avoid periodontal disease; the avoidance of the causes can eliminate further complications. In the event the problem has reached the point where disease cannot be prevented, the next best thing is early detection and intervention. Common treatment to manage the condition includes the removal of built up plaque, a procedure known as scaling. A person’s regular dentist is at the front line of fighting periodontal disease as he or she can ensure that the patient gets regular teeth cleanings to effectively remove the plaque before it becomes problematic.
Another course of treatment is gum graft surgery. The gum disease may have advanced to the point where the gums are not providing the optimum support for the tooth roots and the supporting bone. Depending on the unique situation tissue may be taken from the roof of the mouth or a healthy area of the gums. This tissue is grafted to the affected area of the gums.
Have other questions about periodontics or periodontal disease? Contact Art of Modern Dentistry today!

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