What is Periodontic Dentistry?
Periodontic dentistry, or periodontics, is a area of oral health study which focuses on the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease. Treatments in periodontic dentistry include regular tooth and gum cleanings, root planing, and scaling. Root planing and scaling are deep cleaning methods designed to reach the bacteria which has accumulated under the gum line around the root of the tooth. Gum grafts and osseous surgery are also a part of periodontic dentistry and involve the replacing of gum and bone tissue which have been lost due to gum disease.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by the build up of bacteria under the gum line, beneath tartar, and between teeth. Bacteria are normally found in the mouth but when it builds up, the amount of toxins released also multiples. These toxins cause the gum tissue to shrink back from the teeth, also known as receding. This causes the tooth to be more exposed to the harmful bacteria and the bacteria can continue to multiply until they reach the tooth root. When this occurs the tooth can become loose and eventually fall out.
What are the Symptoms or Signs of Gum Disease?
Gum disease can cause very little symptoms in the beginning. As the disease progresses more signs are visible. Common indicators of gum disease include:
- Tender, red, and swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Bleeding gums, especially when brushing or flossing
- Tooth pain
- Sensitivity to extreme temperatures
- Loose Teeth
- Abscesses or deep infections around the tooth roots
The number one cause of tooth loss in American adults is gum disease. Routine cleanings and exams will prevent gum disease or address it as soon as it is found.