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What does periodontology involve?
Periodontology is a branch of dentistry that deals with the prevention and treatment of gum diseases. Gum inflammation is caused by microbes, living in plaque, which are passed down in a family. People are generally less familiar with gum diseases, but since it is the second group of very common diseases besides caries, we will devote special attention to it here. Our experience has shown that every person over the age of 30 should have regular check-ups with a periodontist.
Which diseases require gum treatment?
To put it simply, gum diseases that require gum treatment can be divided into two groups: gingivitis or inflammation of the gums, and periodontitis or chronic inflammation of the tissue surrounding the tooth.
If left untreated, mild inflammation of the gums or gingivitis can progress to chronic, damaging inflammation – periodontitis. It is important to know that the damage caused by periodontitis is irreversible, as destroyed gum and bone tissue can usually not be restored. Periodontitis is considered to be one of the most common chronic inflammatory diseases of mankind, yet it is not given enough attention. Studies show that 8 out of 10 people over the age of 35 suffer from chronic gum diseases.
Periodontology or gum treatment
Treating gum diseases involves cleaning gum pockets of microbes, plaque and inflamed soft tissue. This procedure is carried out in stages and usually involves anaesthesia. After a full mouth cleaning, the patient should definitely come for a check-up in 3–6 months. This is followed by a maintenance treatment phase, when gum pockets are measured and cleaned repeatedly if necessary. Maintenance treatment for gum diseases lasts for the rest of the patient’s life.
Who is a periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist who specialises in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gum diseases and the placement of dental implants. A periodontist has undergone extensive training in this field in addition to his or her university education.
When to visit a periodontist?
The main symptoms, that indicate inflammation of the attachment apparatus of teeth:
- Bleeding of gums (while brushing as well as spontaneous)
- Red/purple gums
- Swollen gums
- Gums are tender to the touch, uncomfortable itching
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Teeth have changed their position
- Aesthetic problems (so-called black triangles have developed between teeth, receding gums, apparent lengthening of teeth)
- Recurring abscesses
- Receding gums cause higher sensitivity of teeth to temperature
- Other family members have experienced similar symptoms or problems with early loss of teeth
- Early loss of teeth because they have become loose
If gum disease develops into chronic inflammation (periodontitis), the damage is irreversible. Hence it is worth while to prevent gum disease and get yourself checked!
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