Dental periodontics is one of eight dental specialties that cares for patient’s oral health and recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). The periodontics dental specialty is dedicated to the study of the supporting soft tissues and bones of the teeth. Periodontics also specializes in dental implants to replace missing teeth lost by disease as well as dental surgical procedures. Peridontists are dentists, who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental diseases. Periodontists perform exams to assess the gum line, identify loose teeth and to determine how well teeth fit together. Periodontists may determine the need for dental implants and perform a wide range of dental surgical procedures. A common periodontal disease is periodontitis and its mildest form of gingivitis.
Periodontitis and Gingivitis
Peridontitis is a serious gum infection that destroys bone and soft tissue supporting the teeth and may cause eventual tooth loss; it involves progressive bone loss around the teeth. Research suggests that the disease may also put patients at an increased risk for stroke and heart attack. A periodontitis diagnosis is made by inspecting the soft tissue around the teeth with a dental probe. Periodontitis begins with plague buildup. Plague deposits on teeth daily, and daily brushing removes much of this plague; however, plague can harden and form tartar underneath the gum line. During regular checkups, dental hygienists remove the tartar buildup above and below the gum line. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontitis and causes irritation and inflammation of the gingival. Periodontal disease is a common, painful and preventable condition. Brushing twice daily along with flossing, using an antiseptic rinse and having regular dental checkups can reduce your risk of developing the disease.
Risk Factors, Warning Signs and Complications
Risk factors for peridontitis and gingivitis include poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, poor nutrition, diabetes, some medication use, and age as well as being a hereditary condition. Warning signs of peridontitis include red and swollen gums, bleeding gums and bad breath. Bleeding gums and pus are signs of bacteria and should be treated promptly. Periodontal disease is a painful condition, which compounds the problem as patients may not practice good oral hygiene due to the pain. Current medical research indicates that the bacteria from periodontitis is inhaled or enters the bloodstream through the gum line and may cause serious health conditions such as coronary artery disease, stroke and respiratory problems. Periodontitis laboratory tests indicate increased levels of C-reactive protein, which is the same marker noted for cardiovascular disease and other conditions. Untreated periodontal disease may progress to chronic periodontitis caused by the accumulation of dental plague and bacteria. An untreated condition may escalate to the serious bacterial infection of necrotizing ulcerative periodontitis, which can spread into the cheeks, lips and jaw.
Prevention with proper nutrition, good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups is the best medicine for periodontitis disease. Periodontitis is painful and unsightly, and it can worsen over time. Contact Lincoln Dental Care at www.midwaysquaredental.com today to arrange a consultation to assess your risk for periodontal disease, and learn how you can take steps to maintain good oral health.