To explain simply, the field of periodontology is a specialised study of the bone and soft tissue, or gingiva and bone surrounding and supporting the teeth and keeping their position in the bones of the skull.
These soft and hard tissue systems are known as the ‘periodontium’ which are essentially made up of the root cement, the alveolar bone, the gingiva and the periodontal ligament. All of these different ligaments, bones and soft tissues work to form the region of the mouth that maintains the position of teeth.
In our article below, we will take a look in detail at what periodontology is and what types of patients need the support of a periodontist.
How the Field Assists Patients
Off the top, if a dentist or a patient notices issues with the gums or the teeth in that they move or bleed, then there is a chance that this patient is suffering from either periodontitis or gingivitis.
Both of these issues or diseases should always be taken seriously given that they can have a significant effect on the oral health of a person, and can culminate into more severe oral issues and even periodontal disease.
That in mind, this disease can essentially result in the loss of teeth, gum or gingival tissue and be costly and complicated to treat if left unchecked.
With this in mind, however, the above issues can be avoided by following simple oral hygiene procedures and routine-building that involves the correct cleaning of the teeth through flossing, brushing, using mouthwash and reducing intake of high-sugar and acidic foods.
When to Consider Seeing a Periodontist
In the circumstances when there may be cause for concern regarding your teeth, gums or the movement of the teeth you should consider reaching out to a periodontist for assessment and subsequent treatment if necessary.
As we outlined above, the field of periodontology delves into the soft and hard tissue in the jaw and mouth region which also considers the ligaments and other jaw and teeth mobility mechanics.
When these systems are experiencing issues or there are suspicions that there could be disease or infection, it is in your best interest to remedy these issues sooner rather than later — and with that said, there are a few symptoms to be mindful of.
These symptoms include:
- Pain, Redness or Swelling of the Gums
- Bleeding in the Mouth
- Issues with Mobility, Movement or Position of the Teeth
It is good to keep a note of the fact the above symptoms are sometimes synonymous with periodontal disease, and so, should be taken seriously and assessed as soon as possible.
For those who require the treatment for the issues outlined above, due to the risk of periodontal disease, there are a few processes which are undertaken to reduce the risk of issues worsening or causing further damage.
Typical processes will require the cleaning and hygiene of the mouth to ensure that there is a lessened risk of bacteria build up and further damage to the soft and hard tissue systems inside the mouth.
There will be a few treatment processes followed from the outset such as the removal of the plaque and calculus which are located in zones of the mouth that patients are unable, or find difficult to clean on their own.
In more severe cases, there may be antibiotics given in order to prevent or fight off infections that have made their way into the teeth or tissues of a patient, though these measures are typically reserved for those whose tissues don’t respond well to hygienic treatment processes.
Following the Initial Phase
Once cleaning and hygiene processes have been undertaken, the patient will then be subjected to the full assessment and probing of the mouth, which will let a periodontist know whether there are spaces for bacteria to multiply and eat away at both gum and teeth.
For some patients, the ‘lifting’ of gum is required to take a look beneath and find pockets of bacteria or bacteria-enabling damage in the mouth. These pockets are then neutralised through further cleaning.
After the secondary assessment and cleaning phases, there is sometimes a restorative phase required to either rebuild or restructure the mouth. This typically involves dental implants.