Periodontal Dentistry is the dental specialty focusing exclusively on the inflammatory disease that destroys the bone, gums, and connective tissue around the teeth. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal or gum disease and in the placement of dental implants.
The word periodontal means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease is a condition in which accumulations of bacteria known as plaque and tartar (calculus) have infected the gums and bone structures surrounding the teeth. Plaque is a slick, sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that forms on the teeth as you eat and drink through the day. Plaque calcifies and hardens into tartar when left in place for longer than twenty-four hours. Together, they actively destroy tooth, gum, and bone tissue. Periodontal disease, characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums, is so common that four out of five people actively. have the disease but remain unaware of it!
In fact, periodontal disease is so common that it is credited with being the number one cause of tooth loss. Additionally, current research suggests that the inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease may contribute to other systemic diseases like stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Fortunately, good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits are easy ways to significantly reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease.
The following is a list of symptoms that suggest the presence of periodontal disease:
– Bleeding Gums: Healthy gums should not bleed, even when vigorously brushed or flossed.
– Loose Teeth: Bacterial infection often causes weakened periodontal fibers, the muscle tissues that bind teeth to the bone.
– New Spaces Between Teeth: These may be suggestive of advancing bone loss.
– Persistent Bad Breath: Often caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth.
– Tender or Receding Gums: Bacteria inflammation of the gums can eventually create a loss of gum tissue around the teeth.
– Pus on Teeth and Gums: Pus, or exudate, is a sign of severe bacterial infection.