Periodontics and Gum Disease
What is a Periodontics?
Periodontics is a dental specialty that involves the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth, gums or their substitutes and the maintenance of oral health, function and esthetics of the dental structures and tissues.
What is periodontal or gum disease?
Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth and in the worst cases, the patient will lose their teeth.
What causes gum disease?
The mouth is full of bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, which constantly form a sticky, colorless plaque on teeth. When plaque is not removed properly even you brush or floss your teeth, it will harden and form tartar. Only through a professional cleaning performed by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.
The longer that plaque and tartar stay on the teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums, which is called gingivitis. Those who suffer from gingivitis, have gums that become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist. This form of gum disease does not include any bone loss or tissue that hold teeth in place.
Untreated gingivitis advances to periodontitis. Those who suffer from periodontitis, experience gums that pull away from the teeth and form spaces called pockets, that become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and gum tissue that hold the teeth in place. If left untreated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be extracted.
What are the risk factors for developing gum disease?
- Hormonal changes in women
- Other diseases such as AIDS and cancer and its treatments which can also negatively affect the health of gums,
Who develops gum disease?
The symptoms of gum disease are usually not visible until it's too late. Research suggests that men are more likely to have gum disease than women. Teenagers and children rarely develop periodontitis, they do develop gingivitis, the milder form of gum disease. Basically, gum disease develops when plaque is allowed to build up along and under the gum line.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
- Bad breath that will not go away
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
If you suspect you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms, this may be a sign of a serious oral health problem which should be checked by our dentist. Since there is no treatment to control gum disease, regular dental visits and check-ups is mandatory along with a good oral care routine. Early prevention is the only way to save your teeth from gum disease.
Visit Montreal International Clinic to find out more what dental treatment is best for you.